Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "Punica"

See other formats



^^^pm 




^ — cO 


[IJ r^ 




i m 


5==rq 




rn ° 




^ 


>ii=i=-a 


r^ 


It) rT^= 1"^ 


>—^— — 


Z^^^^^^ rnr-> 





\^ 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

FOUNDED BY JAMES LOEB, LL.D. 

EDITED BY 
fT. E. PAGE, C.H., LITT.D. 

t E. CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D. t W. H. D. ROUSE, litt.d. 

L. A. POST, L.H.D. E. H. WARMINGTON, m.a., f.r.hist.soc. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 
I 




SILIUS ITALICUS 

PUNIC A 

WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY 
J. D. DUFF 

M.A., HON.D.LITT. DURHAM 

rEIXOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDOB 

IN TWO VOLUMES 
I 




LONDON 

WILTJAM HEINEMANN LTD 

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 

HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

MCMLXI 



First printed 1927 
Reprinted 1949, 1961 



Printed in Great Britain 



TO 

A. E. H. 

AND 

W. T. V. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME I 

PAOS 

Preface ....... vii 



Introduction : 

I. Life of Silius Italicus , , , ix 

11. The Poem of Silius Italicus . . xi 

III. Manuscripts, Editions, Translations . xvi 

Book 1 2 

Book II 58 

Book III 112 

Book IV 168 

Book V 232 

Book VI 282 

Book VII 336 

Book VIII 392 



PREFACE 

The introduction deals first with the life of Silius 
Italicus, as it is described by Pliny and Martial, and 
then with his poem, the Punica, which deserves, in the 
translator's opinion, more respectful treatment than 
it has generally received in modern times. A short 
account is added of the manuscripts, editions, and 
translations. 

The text follows, in the main, that of L. Bauer 
(Teubner, Leipzig, 1890) ; but many of the emenda- 
tions proposed by Bentley, Bothe, Heinsius, and 
others, which Bauer includes in his apparatus, are here 
promoted to the text. The most important of these 
emendations are indicated in notes below the text. 

In the translation I have tried to be true to the 
original and, at the same time, merciful to the English 
reader. The poem is so full of allusion that it seemed 
necessary to add a number of notes, elucidating points 
of biography, geography, history, and mythology. 
I have done my best to keep each note within compass. 
It should be understood that these notes refer to the 
translation only and not to the Latin text. 

Silius is not, in general, an obscure writer. But 
VOL. I A 2 vii 



PREFACE 

his poem, like all ancient poems, includes corrupt 
or difficult passages, on which I have often applied 
for aid to two powerful allies, Professor A. E. Housman 
and Mr. W. T. Vesey, Fellow of Gonville and Caius 
College ; it is a pleasure to record here my indebted- 
ness to both these scholars. 

J. D. Duff. 
July, 1933. 



I 

Via I 



INTRODUCTION 

I. Life of Silius Italicus 

SiLius Italicus lived to the age of seventy-five and 
died A.D. 101 ; he was therefore born a.d. 26. At the 
time of his birth Tiberius was emperor ; and he lived 
to see Trajan succeed Nerva. His death did not 
come in the course of nature : he was afflicted by a 
chronic ailment and put an end to his sufferings by 
abstaining from food — a manner of death which was 
not regarded by the Romans of that age as a crime 
but as a brave and virtuous action. 

Our knowledge of this fact and of his life in general 
is derived from a letter of Pliny's (iii. 7). Pliny 
regarded his friend as a fortunate man and happy 
down to the last day of his life. Of his two sons 
Silius had lost one ; but the survivor was the more 
satisfactory son of the two and had even risen, 
in his father's life-time, to the dignity of the 
consulship. 

Silius was not merely a poet. His poem was the 
work of his old age when he had retired from public 
affairs and was living in studious seclusion near 
Naples. He was consul himself a.d. 68 — the year of 
Nero's downfall and death ; and he gained a high 
reputation when he governed the province of Asia 
as proconsul. Phny hints that his poHtical conduct 

ix 



INTRODUCTION 

during Nero's reign had been open to censure, but says 
that his later hfe atoned for any early indiscretions. 
We learn also from Martial ^ that he was famous in 
his younger days as a pleader in the law-courts. 

Silius was a rich man and was able to gratify expen- 
sive tastes. He bought one fine country-house after 
another, and filled them with books, pictures, and 
statues. Upon his busts of Virgil he set special 
value. He bought the site of Virgil's tomb at Naples, 
which had fallen into neglect, and restored it. He 
made pilgrimages to the spot, and kept Virgil's 
birthday, October 15, with more ceremony than his 
own. Another of his acquisitions was a house that 
had belonged to Cicero,^ whom Silius revered as the 
greatest of Roman orators.*' 

His life of retirement was not a solitary life : he 
received many visitors, with whom he liked to con- 
verse on literary topics, generally lying on his sofa ; 
and at times he entertained his guests by reading 
extracts from his poem, and asked for their criticism. 
(Pliny himself did not think highly of the poem : it was 
painstaking, he thought, but lacked genius.) 

Thus Silius lived on, respected and courted, until 
he put an end to his life by his own act. The ailment 
from which he suffered is described by the word 
clavus ; the name that modern medical science would 
give to this affliction is uncertain, but it was incur- 
able ; and, like a guest who had eaten his fill, he 
withdrew from the scene. 



« vii. 63. 
* Mart. xi. 48. 9. 

"His reverence for both Virgil and Cicero is recorded in 
his poem : see viii. 593, 594, and viii. 408-413. 

X 



I 



INTRODUCTION 



II. The Poem of Silius Italicus 

Tlie Punica of Silius Italicus is the longest Latin 
poem : it contains upwards of 12,000 verses. Its 
subject is the Second Punic War, the most critical 
period in the history of the Republic. Hannibal is 
the true hero of the story, though Silius evidently 
intended to cast Scipio for that part. The narrative 
begins with Hannibal's oath and ends with the battle 
of Zama. There are two long digressions : the first 
(of 500 lines) fills most of the Sixth Book and contains 
the story of Regulus which properly belongs to the 
First Punic War ; and the second digression (in the 
Eighth Book) devotes 200 lines to the adventures of 
Anna, the sister of Dido, who has become the Nymph 
of an Italian river, so that her sympathies are, or 
ought to be, divided between the combatants. Other- 
wise, the narrative proceeds in orderly sequence from 
beginning to end." It was certainly based upon 
Livy's Third Decad. But Silius owes much more to 
Virgil's Aeneid than to any other source. He had 
soaked his mind in Virgil. 

There are undoubtedly long stretches in the poem 
which no modern reader can enjoy. Silius gives ample 
space, too ample, to the six great battles of the war 
— Ticinus, Trebia, Lake Trasimene, Cannae, the 
Metaurus, and Zama ; and the details of slaughter 
become in him, as they become in better poets, 
monotonous and repulsive. Then there are the 

" There is serious disorder in Book XVII. about 1. 290. 
But I agree with tliose editors who assume a lacuna here ; 
and it may well be a very large lacuna. For the lacuna in 
Book VIII. see p. xvii. 

xi 



INTRODUCTION 

catalogues. The Catalogue was an indispensable 
part of an ancient Epic, and Silius has many of them 
— a catalogue of the Carthaginian forces, a catalogue 
of the Italian contingents who fought at Cannae, a 
catalogue of Sicilian towns and rivers, and others as 
well ; and these long lists of names and places, many 
of them quite obscure, are wearisome. Few poets 
have had the art to make catalogues interesting. 
Milton could do it ; and a very different poet from 
Milton wrote an excellent catalogue — the first part 
of Macaulay's Horatius. " From lordly Volaterrae " 
and so on is a catalogue of the Tuscan cities, which 
the reader, especially the youthful reader, finds 
delightful. 

But the Punica does not consist entirely of carnage 
and catalogues. What of the poem as a whole ? 
Does it deserve its deplorable reputation ? 

Of some writers it is the custom to say that they 
are more praised than read ; but no one ever said 
this of SiHus. Of him it would be truer to say that 
he is more blamed than read. Even Madvig, who 
does not blame him, admits that he had only read 
the poem in parts and celerrime.^ There is no doubt 
about the verdict pronounced by modern critics and 
historians of Roman literature. They say very little 
about Silius,'' but they are all of one opinion — that 
he was a dull man who wrote a bad poem. And this 
is the view of the educated public. I believe myself 
that this judgement is much too summary, and that 

" Adversaria Critica, ii. p. 161. 

* This is not true of Professor J. Wight Duff, the latest 
critic of Silius. His discussion of the poem is full and careful 
{JAterary History of Rome in the Silver Age (1927), pp. 452 
foil.) ; but he seems to me somewhat blind to its merits. 
xii 



INTRODUCTION 

scholars would think better of the poem if they would 
condescend to read it. 

We know that it was the work of an old man, and 
the fire and vigour of youth are not to be found in 
it ; its merits are of another sort. The versification 
is in general pleasing, and much less monotonous 
than that of Lucan. Not that Silius had a really 
fine ear for the beautiful arrangement of vowels and 
consonants : he is capable of beginning a line with 
certatisfatis, and ending i mother with genitore PehreJ^ 
Then too many of his verses end with a trochee ; and 
the Latin hexameter verse, unlike the Greek in this 
respect, is shorn of its true majesty if the trochaic 
ending is used too often. 

The chief fault of style in the poem is tautology. 
Silius evidently thought that a plain statement of 
fact was improved, if he repeated it over again in 
different words. Examples may be found on almost 
every page. 

Then there is another peculiarity of expression 
which is decidedly disconcerting to the reader. I 
believe that Sihus did himself serious injury by what 
might seem a trifling matter — his system of nomen- 
clature. The subject of his poem, the struggle 
between Carthage and Rome, is stated in the first 
two lines. But the Romans are not there called 
Romani : they are called Aeneadae ; and the 
" supremacy of Italy " is expressed by Oenotria iura, 
though Oenotria is not Italy but a name given by 
Greeks in early times to a district or kingdom in the 
southernmost part of Italy. 

Sihus evidently felt that Romani and Itali might 

• ix. 543 : xvi. 426. 

xiii 



INTRODUCTION 

recur too often, and that aliases must be found 
Variety is good ; but here it was carried to excess. 
The following list of variants for Romani may not 
be exhaustive, but is surely too long : Aeneadae, 
Aurunci, Ausonidae and Ausonii^ Dardanidae, Dardani 
and Dardanii, Dauni and Daunii, Evandrei, Hectorei, 
Hesperii, Idaei, Iliad, Itali, Laomedontiadae, Latii and 
Latini, Laurentes, Martigenae, Oenotri, Phryges and 
Phrygil, Priamidae, Rkoetei, Saturnii, Sigei, Teucri, 
Troes, Troiugenae, and Tyrrheni. The Carthaginians 
also are called by nearly a dozen different names. 
I have thought it best not always to follow Silius in 
this particular. 

The great Roman poets, Lucretius and Virgil, 
Catullus and Horace, have their place apart ; and 
Silius has no claim to be ranked with these or near 
them. Yet, when defects are admitted and due 
qualifications made, the reader of the Punica, once 
he has surmounted the obstacles, will find much 
pleasant walking there. If anyone doubts whether 
Silius could write poetry, let him read the twenty- 
three lines in which the aspect and habits of the god 
Pan are described (xiii. 326-347). If Ovid had written 
these charming verses, every scholar would know 
them and critics would be eloquent in their praise. 
Silius is full of incidental narrative, and he tells 
a short story well, though it must be admitted 
that his main narrative is too apt to hang fire. 
And one quality he has which is a constant com- 
fort and satisfaction to some at least of his 
readers. Though inferior to Statius in brilliance 
and far inferior to Lucan in intellectual force, he 
is almost entirely free from that misplaced ingenuity 
which pervades the whole of their works and makes 
xiv 



INTRODUCTION 

the reader feel too often as if he were solving 
puzzles rather than reading poetry. 

I shall end by referring to four passages (none of 
which seems to have been noticed by the contemptu- 
ous critics) as proofs of Silius's narrative power. 

(i.) V. 344 foil. Silius describes how Mago, Hanni- 
bal's brother, was wounded ; how Hannibal flew to 
the spot, conveyed the wounded man to the camp, 
and summoned medical aid to dress the wound. For 
Hannibal had a famous physician, a descendant of 
Jupiter Ammon, in his train. (He had also a prophet, 
whose name was not, to our ears, a recommendation : 
he was called Bogus.) 

(ii.) vii. 282 foil. This is a night scene and recalls 
the beginning of Matthew Arnold's " Sohrab and 
Rustum."^ Hannibal has been caught in a trap 
by Quintus Fabius, the famous Cunctator. Unable to 
sleep for anxiety, he rises and wakens his brother, 
Mago ; they make a round of the camp together, and 
visit the chief captains, to suggest a plan of escape. 

Both these extracts are vivid and swift pieces of 
narrative. 

(iii.) The third passage (xvi. 229 foil.) has even 
higher merit. The scene is dramatic and picturesque ; 
it is even romantic. The place is the palace of 
Syphax, king of Numidia, whose alliance Scipio was 
anxious to secure against Carthage. Scipio had 
crossed over from Spain to Africa for this purpose.'' 
We read how the Roman general, the conqueror of 
Spain, rose from his bed before sunrise and went to 



" Both Silius and Arnold doubtless had in mind the 
beginning of the Tenth Book of the Iliad, 
* This is a historical fact. 



INTRODUCTION 

the palace, where he found the king playing with the 
lion-cubs that he kept as pets. Both were young 
men, and the younger of the two had a young man's 
generous hero-worship for his Roman visitor, and ex- 
presses it in the conversation that follows. 

(iv.) ix. 401 foil. This is a scene from the battle of 
Cannae. It describes the friendship between Marius 
and Caper, two natives of Praeneste who fell side by 
side in the battle. There is no doubt that there were 
really no such persons, and that the entire incident, 
like many others, was invented by Silius. But the 
man who wrote these lines was certainly a poet ; and 
I shall venture to say of them 

fiiofJirjareTai ns fxaXXov i) /Ai/xrjcreTat. 



III. Manuscripts, Editions, Translations 

(a) In 1416 or 1417, during the Council of Con- 
stance, Poggio, the learned Florentine who unearthed 
so many Latin authors, found, probably at St. Gall, 
a manuscript of Silius ; a copy of this was taken 
by Poggio or one of his companions ; and from that 
copy all the existing mss. are descended. Neither 
the original ms. nor the original copy of it is now 
extant. Editors use the letter S to denote this ms., 
and C to denote another ms. which was once in the 
Cathedral library at Cologne ; this ms. also is lost, 
and its readings are known only from notes made by 
two scholars towards the end of the sixteenth century. 
Of the extant mss. four, all written in the fifteenth 
century, are thought to be better than the rest. Their 
readings are cited in the critical editions mentioned 
below. 
xvi 



INTRODUCTION 

(b) The two earliest editions were printed at Rome 
in 1471 ; many others followed, most of them printed 
in Italy and others in France and Germany. The 
Aldine edition of 1523 is important in the history 
of the text, because it offers 81 lines of the poem 
(viii. 145-225) which are found in no manuscript and 
in none of the previous editions, though some of the 
editors had pointed out that there must be a lacuna 
in the text. The source from which these verses are 
derived is a matter of dispute : some critics believe 
them to be the work of a forger ; others hold that 
they were written by Silius and that the loss of them 
was due to some mutilation of S, the original ms. 
at St. Gall. It is certain that the verses fit in 
perfectly with the context, and that they are such aa 
Sihus might have written.** 

Of later editions the most important are those 
of G. A. Ruperti (Gottingen, 1795), F. H. Bothe 
(Stuttgart, 1855), L. Bauer (Leipzig, 1890), and 
W. C. Summers (London, 1905) in Postgate's Corpus 
Poetarum Latinorum. 

Ruperti 's edition (which was reprinted in a more 
convenient form by N. E. Lemaire, Paris, 1823) 
combines immense learning with a candour and 
simplicity that are most attractive. But he is not 
an ideal editor : too often he explains at great 
length what is perfectly clear already, and says 
nothing where explanation is needed. But his book 
is indispensable. 

Bothe did not publish a text. He translated the 

" For a full discussion of this lacuna see Mr. Heitland's 
article in the Journal of Philolocfy, vol. xxiv. pp. 179-211: 
he has no doubt that the verses are genuine ; and his opinion 
carries weight. 

xvii 



INTRODUCTION 

whole poem into German hexameters, archaic both 
in vocabulary and style, and added below his version 
notes which deal both with text and interpretation. 
He is too ready to meddle with the text ; but his 
brief business-like notes are most valuable. His 
translation is close and correct, and has fewer lines 
than the original, which is surely a remarkable feat 
of compression. 

Bauer's text is the work of a competent and 
careful scholar. The revision by Professor W. C. 
Summers deserves the same praise and contains some 
important corrections, by himself and Postgate, of 
the text of SiUus ; and in punctuation it is much 
superior to any other text. 

(c) Three translations of Silius are known to me. 
The earhest is by Thomas Ross, " Keeper of His 
Majesties' Libraries, and Groom of His most Hon- 
ourable Privy-Chamber." The king was Charles II. 
The preface is dated at Bruges, November 18, 1657, 
and the work was pubHshed in London in 1672, 
twelve years after the Restoration. The translator 
added a supplement of his own in three books, 
carrying the story down to the death of Hannibal. 
The first book is dedicated to the King, the second 
to the Duke of York, afterwards James II., and the 
third to the memory of the Duke of Gloucester, 
the third son of Charles I. Ross was a fairly good 
scholar, but his versification is unpleasing. The 
rhyming heroic verse which he chose for his metre 
was still in its infancy : Dryden had not yet 
seriously taken it in hand. The second translation, 
by F. H. Bothe, is spoken of above. The third, 
printed below the Didot text, has little merit and 
many mistakes, 
xviii 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

BOOKS I-VIII 



PUNICORUM 

LIBER PRIMUS 

ARGUMENT 

The subject of the poem is the Second Punic War (1-20). 
The cause of the war was Juno's hatred of Rome. She 
chooses Hannibal as her instrument (21-55). HannibaVs 
character, and the oath he swore in boyhood (56-139). Has- 
drubal succeeds Hamilcar as commander in Spain : his 
character, conquests, and death (140-181). Hannibal is 
chosen to succeed Hasdrubal by all the army in Spain, both 

Ordior arma, quibus caelo se gloria tollit 
Aeneadum patiturque ferox Oenotria iura 
Carthago, da, Musa, decus memorare laborum 
antiquae Hesperiae, quantosque ad bella crearit 
et quot Roma viros, sacri cum perfida pacti 5 

gens Cadmea super regno certamina movit, 
quaesitumque diu, qua tandem poneret arce 
terrarum Fortuna caput, ter Marte sinistro 
iuratumque lovi foedus conventaque patrum 
Sidonii fregere duces, atque impius ensis 10 

ter placitam suasit temerando rumpere pacemi. 

* Oenotria, the Greek name of an ancient kingdom in 
S. Italy, is one of the many synonyms for Italy which occur 
in the poem : see p. xiii. 

" Sidonians, Tyrians, Cadmeans, and other names are 
used by Silius to denote the Carthaginians. 
2 



» 



PUNICA 

BOOK I 
ARGUMENT (continued) 

Carthaginians and Spaniards (182-238). Character of 
Hannibal (239-267). He resolves to attack Saguntum : posi- 
tion and history of the city (268-295). The siege of Saguntum 
(296-ii. 695). The Saguntines send an embassy to Rome : 
the speech of Sicoris (564-671). In the Senate Cn. Cornelius 
Lentulus and Q. Fabius Maximus express different views : 
envoys are sent to Hannibal (672-694). 

Here I begin the war by which the fame of the 
Aeneadae was raised to heaven and proud Carthage 
submitted to the rule of Italy." Grant me, O Muse, to 
record the splendid achievements of Italy in ancient 
days, and to tell of all those heroes whom Rome 
brought forth for the strife, when the people of 
Cadmus ^ broke their solemn bond and began the 
contest for sovereignty ; and for long it remained 
uncertain, on which of the two citadels Fortune 
would establish the capital of the world. Thrice over 
with unholy warfare did the Carthaginian leaders 
violate their compact with the Senate and the treaty 
they had sworn by Jupiter to observe ; and thrice 
over the lawless sword induced them wantonly to 
break the peace they had approved. But in the 

3 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sed medio finem bello excidiumque vicissim 
molitae gentes, propiusque fuere periclo, 
quis superare datum : reseravit Dardanus arces 
ductor Agenoreas, obsessa Palatia vallo 15 

Poenorum, ac muris defendit Roma salutem. 

Tantarum causas irarum odiumque perenni 
servatum studio et mandata nepotibus arma 
fas aperire mihi superasque recludere mentes. 
iamque adeo magni repetam primordia motus. 20 

Pygmalioneis quondam per caerula terris 
pollutum fugiens fraterno crimine regnum 
fatali Dido Libyes appellitur orae. 
turn pretio mercata locos nova moenia ponit, 
cingere qua secto permissum litora tauro. 25 

hie luno ante Argos (sic credidit alta vetustas) 
ante Agamemnoniam, gratissima tecta, Mycenen 
optavit profugis aeternam condere gent em. 
verum ubi magnanimis Romam caput urbibus alte 
exerere ac missas etiam trans aequora classes 30 

totum signa videt victricia ferre per orbem, 
iam propius metuens bellandi corda furore 
Phoenicum extimulat. sed enim conanime primae 
contuso pugnae fractisque in gurgite coeptis 
Sicanio Libycis, iterum instaurata capessens 35 



" There were three Punic wars : the second of these is 
the subject of the poem. 

" Scipio Africanus, in 202 b.c. Silius often uses Dardanus 
as equivalent to Romanus, because the Romans were 
descendants of Aeneas, an exile from Troy. 

* Pygmalion, king of Tyre, treacherously murdered 
Sychaeus, his brother-in-law and Dido's husband, for the 
sake of his wealth ; but Dido managed to carry the treasure 
off to Africa. 
4 



PUNICA, I. 12-36 

second war ° each nation strove to destroy and ex- 
terminate her rival, and those to whom victory was 
granted came nearer to destruction : in it a Roman 
general ^ stormed the citadel of Carthage, the Pala- 
tine was surrounded and besieged by Hannibal, and 
Rome made good her safety by her walls alone. 

The causes of such fierce anger, the hatred main- 
tained with unabated fury, the war bequeathed by 
sire to son and by son to grandson — these things I am 
permitted to reveal, and to disclose the purposes of 
Heaven. And now I shall begin by tracing the origin 
of this great upheaval. 

When Dido long ago fled across the sea from the 
land of Pygmalion,'^ leaving behind her the realm 
polluted by her brother's guilt, she landed on the 
destined shore of Libya. There she bought land for 
a price and founded a new city, where she was per- 
mitted to lay strips of a bull's hide round the strand. 
Here — so remote antiquity believed — Juno elected to 
found for the exiles a nation to last for ever, preferring 
it to Argos, and to Mycenae, the city of Agamemnon 
and her chosen dwelling-place. But when she saw 
Rome lifting her head high among aspiring cities, 
and even sending fleets across the sea to carry her 
victorious standards over all the earth, then the 
goddess felt the danger close and stirred up in the 
minds of the Phoenicians a frenzy for war. But the 
effort of their first campaign was crushed, and the 
enterprise of the Carthaginians was wrecked on the 
Sicilian sea ^ ; and then Juno took up the sword again 

** The first Punic war ended in a great victory at sea for 
the Romans, near the Aegatian islands off the promontory 
of Lilybaeum (242 b.c). 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

arma remolitur ; dux omnia sufficit unus 
turbanti terra^ pontumque movere paranti. 

lamque deae cunctas sibi belliger induit iras 
Hannibal ; hunc audet solum componere fatis. 
sanguineo tum laeta viro atque in regna Latini 40 
turbine mox saevo venientum haud inscia cladum, 
" intulerit Latio, spreta me, Troius," inquit, 
" exul Dardaniam et bis numina capta penates 
sceptraque fundarit victor Lavinia Teucris, 
dum Romana tuae, Ticine, cadavera ripae 45 

non capiant, famulusque^ mihi per Celtica rura 
sanguine Pergameo Trebia et stipantibus armis 
corporibusque virum retro fluat, ac sua largo 
stagna reformidet Thrasymennus turbida tabo ; 
dum Cannas, tumulum Hesperiae, campumque cruore 
Ausonio mersum sublimis lapyga cernam 51 

teque vadi dubium coeuntibus, Aufide, ripis 
per clipeos galeasque virum caesosque per artus 
vix iter Hadriaci rumpentem ad litora ponti." 
haec ait ac iuvenem facta ad Mavortia flammat. 55 

Ingenio motus avidus fideique sinister 
is fuit, exsuperans astu, sed devius aequi. 
armato nullus divum pudor ; improba virtus 
et pacis despectus honos ; penitusque medullis 

^ omnia . . . terra Madvig : agmina . . . terras edd. 
2 famulus Postgate : similis edd. 

" The legendary king of Laurentum who welcomed 
Aeneas on his arrival in Italy. The " realm of Latinus " 
stands for either Rome or Italy. 

^ Aeneas. 

" Troy : and so " Teucrians " below stands for " Romans." 

'^ Troy was taken first by Hercules, when he had been 
deceived by Laomedon, king of Troy ; and secondly by 
the Greeks under Agamemnon. 

* Juno enumerates the four main victories gained by 

6 



PUNICA, I. 36-69 

for a fresh conflict. When she upset all things on 
earth and was preparing to stir up the sea, she found 
a sufficient instrument in a single leader. 

Now warlike Hannibal clothed himself with all the 
wrath of the goddess ; his single arm she dared to 
match against destiny. Then, rejoicing in that man 
of blood, and aware of the fierce storm of disasters in 
store for the realm of Latinus,** she spoke thus : "In 
defiance of me, the exile from Troy^ brought 
Dardania " to Latium, together with his household 
gods — deities that were twice taken prisoners ** ; and 
he gained a victory and founded a kingdom for the 
Teucrians at Lavinium. That may pass — provided 
that the banks of the Ticinus ^ cannot contain the 
Roman dead, and that the Trebia, obedient to me, 
shall flow backwards through the fields of Gaul, 
blocked by the blood of Romans and their weapons 
and the corpses of men ; provided that Lake Trasi- 
mene shall be terrified by its own pools darkened with 
streams of gore, and that I shall see from heaven 
Cannae, the grave of Italy, and the lapygian plain 
inundated with Roman blood, while the Aufidus, 
doubtful of its course as its banks close in, can hardly 
force a passage to the Adriatic shore through shields 
and helmets and severed limbs of men." With these 
words she fired the youthful warrior for deeds of battle. 

By nature he was eager for action and faithless to 
his plighted word, a past master in cunning but a 
stray er from justice. Once armed, he had no respect 
for Heaven ; he was brave for evil and despised the 
glory of peace ; and a thirst for human blood burned 

Hannibal over the Romans in Italy: (1) on the Ticinus; 
(2) on the Trebia ; (3) at Lake Trasimene ; (4) at Cannae, 
by the river Aufidus. 

7 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sanguinis humani flagrat sitis. his super, aevi 60 
flore virens, avet Aegates abolere, parentum 
dedecus, ac Siculo demergere foedera ponto. 
dat mentem luno ac laudum spe corda fatigat. 
iamque aut nocturno penetrat Capitolia visu 
aut rapidis fertur per summas passibus Alpes. 65 

saepe etiam famuli turbato ad limina somno 
expavere trucem per vasta silentia vocem, 
ac largo sudore virum invenere futuras 
miscentem pugnas et inania bella gerentem. 

Hanc rabiem in fines Italum Saturniaque arva 70 
addiderat laudem puero patrius furor orsus.^ 
Sarrana prisci Barcae de gente, vetustos 
a Belo numerabat avos. namque orba marito 
cum fugeret Dido famulam Tyron, impia diri 
Belides iuvenis vitaverat arma tyranni 75 

et se participem casus sociarat in omnes. 
nobilis hoc ortu et dextra spectatus Hamilcar, 
ut fari primamque datum distinguere lingua 
Hannibali vocem, sollers nutrire furores, 
Romanum sevit puerili in pectore bellum. 80 

Urbe fuit media sacrum genetricis Elissae 
manibus et patria Tyriis formidine cultum, 
quod taxi circum et piceae squalentibus umbris 
abdiderant caelique arcebant lumine, templum. 
hoc sese, ut perhibent, curis mortalibus olim 85 

' Thus emended by Housman : tantam puero patris heu 
furor altus Bauer. 

« See note to 1. 35. 

^ The legendary ruler of Latium, whose reign was the 
Golden Age. 

" Akingof Tyre, also called Sarra; perhaps a title borne by 
all the kings of Tyre. The father of Dido was called Belus. 

^ Barcas. 
8 



PUNICA, I. 60-85 



I...,..,.. „.,.,., 

vigour longed to blot out the Aegates,^ the shame 
of the last generation, and to drown the treaty of 
peace in the Sicilian sea. Juno inspired him and 
tormented his spirit with ambition. Already, in 
visions of the night, he either stormed the Capitol 
or marched at speed over the summits of the Alps. 
Often too the servants who slept at his door were 
roused and terrified by a fierce cry that broke the 
desolate silence, and found their master dripping 
with sweat, while he fought battles still to come and 
waged imaginary warfare. 

When he was a mere child, his father's passion had 
kindled in Hannibal this frenzy against Italy and 
the realm of Saturn,'' and started him on his glorious 
career. Hamilcar, sprung from the Tyrian house 
of ancient Barcas, reckoned his long descent from 
Belus.<' For, when Dido lost her husband and fled 
from a Tyre reduced to slavery, the young scion of 
Belus<* had escaped the unrighteous sword of the 
dread tyrant,* and had joined his fortunes with hers 
for weal or woe. Thus nobly born and a proved 
warrior, Hamilcar, as soon as Hannibal could speak 
and utter his first distinct words, sowed war with 
Rome in the boy's heart ; and well he knew how to 
feed angry passions. 

In the centre of Carthage stood a temple, sacred to 
the spirit of Elissa,^ the foundress, and regarded with 
hereditary awe by the people. Round it stood yew- 
trees and pines with their melancholy shade, which 
hid it and kept away the light of heaven. Here, as it 
was reported, the queen had cast off long ago the ills 

* Pygmalion. 
f Another name for Dido. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

exuerat regina loco, stant marmore maesto 
effigies, Belusque parens omnisque nepotum 
a Belo series ; stat gloria gentis Agenor, 
et qui longa dedit terris cognomina Phoenix, 
ipsa sedet tandem aeternum coniuncta Sychaeo ; 90 
ante pedes ensis Phrygius iacet ; ordine centum 
stant arae caelique dels Erebique potenti. 
hie, crine efFuso, atque Hennaeae numina divae 
atque Acheronta vocat Stygia cum veste sacerdos. 
immugit tellus rumpitque horrenda per umbras 95 
sibila ; inaccensi flagrant altaribus ignes. 
turn magico volitant cantu per inania manes 
exciti, vultusque in marmore sudat Elissae. 
Hannibal haec patrio iussu ad penetralia fertur ; 
ingressique habitus atque ora explorat Hamilcar. 100 
non ille euhantis Massylae palluit iras, 
non diros templi ritus aspersaque tabo 
limina et audito surgentes carmine flammas. 
oUi permulcens genitor caput oscula libat 
attolhtque animos hortando et talibus implet : 105 
" Gens recidiva Phrygum Cadmeae stirpis alumnos 
foederibus non aequa premit ; si fata negarint 
dedecus id patriae nostra depellere dextra, 

" Phoenicia. The Roman name for the Carthaginians was 
Poeni. 

^ The sword given her by Aeneas, with which she killed 
herself. 

" Erebus is one of many names for Hades ; Acheron 
(1. 94), properly a river in Hades, is another such name. 

<* Proserpina : she was gathering flowers at Henna in 
Sicily, when Pluto carried her down to Hades to be his 
queen. 

* i.e. African. The Massyli were a powerful tribe who 
occupied what is now called Algeria : see note to iii. 282. 

10 



PUNICA, I. 86-108 

that flesh is heir to. Statues of mournful marble 
stood there — Belus, the founder of the race, and 
all the line descended from Belus ; Agenor also, the 
nation's boast, and Phoenix who gave a lasting name" 
to his country. There Dido herself was seated, at 
last united for ever to Sychaeus ; and at her feet 
lay the Trojan sword. ^ A hundred altars stood here 
in order, sacred to the gods of heaven and the lord of 
Erebus. ^ Here the priestess with streaming hair and 
Stygian garb calls up Acheron and the divinity of 
Henna's goddess.^ The earth rumbles in the gloom 
and breaks forth into awesome hissings ; and fire 
blazes unkindled upon the altars. The dead also are 
called up by magic spells and flit through empty 
space ; and the marble face of Elissa sweats. To 
this shrine Hannibal was brought by his father's 
command ; and, when he had entered, Hamilcar 
examined the boy's face and bearing. No terrors 
for him had the Massylian ^ priestess, raving in her 
frenzy, or the horrid rites -^ of the temple, the 
blood-bespattered doors, and the flames that mounted 
at the sound of incantation. His father stroked the 
boy's head and kissed him ; then he raised his 
courage by exhortation and thus inspired him : 

" The restored race of Phrygians ^ is oppressing with 
unjust treaties the people of Cadmean stock. If 
fate does not permit my right hand to avert this dis- 
honour from our land, you, my son, must choose this 

' This is probably an allusion to the human sacrifices, 
especially of infants, which were common at Carthage : 
see iv. 765 foil. 

' The Romans are here called " Phrygians," " Lauren- 
tines," and " Tuscans " : see p. xiii. The Carthaginians are 
called "Cadmeans," because Cadmus, the founder of Thebes, 
came from Phoenicia : see 1. 6. 

11 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

haec tua sit laus, nate, velis ; age, concipe bella 
latura exitium Laurentibus ; horreat ortus 110 

iam pubes Tyrrhena tuos, partusque recusent, 
te surgente, puer, Latiae producere matres." 

His acuit stimulis, subicitque baud mollia dictu : 
" Romanos terra atque undis, ubi competet aetas, 
ferro ignique sequar Rhoeteaque fata revolvam. 115 
non superi mihi, non Mart em cohibentia pacta, 
non celsae obstiterint Alpes Tarpeiaque saxa. 
banc mentem iuro nostri per numina Martis, 
per manes, regina, tuos." turn nigra triformi 
hostia mactatur divae, raptimque recludit 120 

spirantes artus poscens responsa sacerdos 
ac fugientem animam properatis consulit extis. 

Ast ubi quaesitas artis de more vetustae 
intravit mentes superum, sic deinde profatur : 
" Aetolos late consterni milite campos 125 

Idaeoque lacus flagrantes sanguine cerno. 
quanta procul moles scopulis ad sidera tendit, 
cuius in aerio pendent tua vertice castra ! 
iamque iugis agmen rapitur ; trepidantia fumant 
moenia, et Hesperio tellus porrecta sub axe 130 

Sidoniis lucet flammis. fluit ecce cruentus 
Eridanus. iacet ore truci super arma virosque, 
tertia qui tulerat sublimis opima Tonanti. 

" The treaty of peace between Rome and Carthage. 

* Hecate, who was worshipped also as Diana and Luna. 

" She foresees various episodes of the war : the battles 
of Cannae and Lake Trasimene ; the crossing of the Alps ; 
the battles of Ticinus and Trebia ; the death of Marcellus ; 
the storm which drove Hannibal away from Rome (211 b.c). 
The " Aetolian fields " are Apulia, so called because Diomede, 
the Aetolian king, settled there after the Trojan war. 

^ Marcellus won " choice spoils " by killing in battle a 
Gallic chief; he fell in an ambush in 208 b.c. : see xv. 334 foil. 
12 



PUNICA, I. 109-133 

as your field of fame. Be quick to swear a war that 
shall bring destruction to the Laurentines ; let the 
Tuscan people already dread your birth ; and when 
you, my son, arise, let Latian mothers refuse to rear 
their offspring." 

With these incentives he spurred on the boy and 
then dictated a vow not easy to utter : ** When I 
come to age, I shall pursue the Romans with fire and 
sword and enact again the doom of Troy. The gods 
shall not stop my career, nor the treaty that bars 
the sword ,« neither the lofty Alps nor the Tarpeian 
rock. I swear to this purpose by the divinity of our 
native god of war, and by the shade of Elissa." Then 
a black victim was sacrificed to the goddess of triple 
shape ^ ; and the priestess, seeking an oracle, quickly 
opened the still breathing body and questioned the 
spirit, as it fled from the inward parts that she had 
laid bare in haste. 

But when, following the custom of her ancient art, 
she had entered into the mind of the gods whom 
she inquired of, thus she spoke aloud ; "I see the 
Aetolian fields'' covered far and wide with soldiers' 
corpses, and lakes red with Trojan blood. How huge 
the rampart of cliffs that rises far towards heaven ! 
And on its airy summit your camp is perched. Now 
the army rushes down from the mountains ; terrified 
cities send up smoke, and the land that lies beneath 
the western heavens blazes with Punic fires. See ! 
the river Po runs blood. Fierce is that face that lies 
on a heap of arms and men — the face of him who was 
the third to carry in triumph choice spoils ^ to the 

These spoils, only thrice won in Roman history, were the 
prize of a commander who killed with his own hand the 
commander of the hostile army. 

VOL. I B IS 



L 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

heu quaenam subitis horrescit turbida nimbis 
tempestas, ruptoque polo micat igneus aether ! 136 
magna parant superi : tonat alti regia caeli, 
bellantemque lovem cerno." venientia fata 
scire ultra vetuit luno, fibraeque repente 
conticuere. latent casus longique labores. 

Sic clausum linquens arcano pectore bellum 140 
atque hominum finem Gades Calpenque secutus, 
dum fert Herculeis Garamantica signa columnis, 
occubuit saevo Tyrius certamine ductor. 

Interea rerum Hasdrubali traduntur habenae, 
occidui qui solis opes et vulgus Hiberum 145 

Baeticolasque viros furiis agitabat iniquis. 
tristia corda ducis, simul immedicabilis ira, 
et fructus regni feritas erat ; asper amore 
sanguinis, et metui demens credebat honorem ; 
nee nota docilis poena satiare furores. 160 

ore excellentem et spectatum fortibus ausis 
antiqua de stirpe Tagum, superumque hominumque 
immemor, erecto suffixum robore maestis 
ostentabat ovans populis sine funere regem. 
auriferi Tagus ascito cognomine fontis 156 

perque antra et ripas nymphis ululatus Hiberis, 
Maeonium non ille vadum, non Lydia mallet 
stagna sibi, nee qui riguo perfunditur auro 
campum atque illatis Hermi flavescit harenis. 



<* Gibraltar and Cadiz. The Pillars of Hercules are now 
the Straits of Gibraltar. 

^ The son-in-law of Hamilcar. 

" The Guadalquivir. 

<* The Pactolus. This and the Hermus were rivers of 
Lydia (also called here Maeonia), both rich in gold. In 
Europe the Tagus was famous for the gold contained in 
its waters ; and this chief had taken his name from it. 
14 



PUNICA, I. 134-159 

Thunder-god. Ah ! what wild storm is this that 
rages with sudden downpour, while the sky is 
rent asunder and the fiery ether flashes ! The 
gods are preparing mighty things, the throne of 
high heaven thunders, and I see Jupiter in arms." 
Then Juno forbade her to learn more of coming 
events, and the victims suddenly became dumb. 
The dangers and the endless hardships were con- 
cealed. 

So Hamilcar left his design of war concealed in 
his secret heart, and made for Calpe and Gades," the 
limit of the world ; but, while carrying the standards 
of Africa to the Pillars of Hercules, he fell in a hard- 
fought battle. 

Meanwhile the direction of affairs was handed over 
to Hasdrubal ^ ; and he harried with savage cruelty 
the wealth of the western world, the people of Spain, 
and the dwellers beside the Baetis." Hard was 
the general's heart, and nothing could mitigate his 
ferocious temper ; power he valued because it gave 
him the opportunity to be cruel. Thirst for blood 
hardened his heart ; and he had the folly to believe 
that to be feared is glory. Nor was he willing to sate 
his rage with ordinary punishments. Tagus, a man 
of ancient race, remarkable for beauty and of proved 
valour, Hasdrubal, defying gods and men, fastened 
high on a wooden cross, and displayed in triumph to 
the sorrowing natives the unburied body of their king. 
Tagus, who had taken his name from the gold-bearing 
river, was mourned by the Nymphs of Spain through all 
their caves and banks ; nor would he have preferred 
the river of Maeonia** and the pools of Lydia, nor 
the plain watered by flowing gold and turned yellow 
by the sands of Hermus pouring over it. Ever first 

15 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

primus inire manus, postremus ponere Martem ; 160 
cum rapidum efFusis ageret sublimis habenis 
quadrupedem, non ense virum, non eminus hasta 
sistere erat ; volitabat ovans aciesque per ambas 
iam Tagus auratis agnoscebatur in armis. 
quern postquam diro suspensum robore vidit 165 

deformem leti famulus, clam corripit ensem 
dilectum domino pernixque irrumpit in aulam 
atque immite ferit geminato vulnere pectus, 
at Poeni, succensa ira turbataque luctu 
et saevis gens laeta, ruunt tormentaque portant. 170 
non ignes candensque chalybs, non verbera passim 
ictibus innumeris lacerum scindentia corpus, 
carnificaeve manus penitusve infusa medullis 
pestis et in medio lucentes vulnere flammae 
cessavere ; ferum visu dictuque, per artem 175 

saevitiae extenti, quantum tormenta iubebant, 
creverunt artus, atque, omni sanguine rupto, 
ossa liquefactis fumarunt fervida membris. 
mens intact a manet ; superat ridetque dolores, 
spectanti similis, fessosque labore minis tros 180 

increpitat dominique crucem clamore reposcit. 

Haec inter spretae miseranda piacula poenae 
erepto trepidus ductore exercitus una 
Hannibalem voce atque alacri certamine poscit. 
hinc studia accendit patriae virtutis imago, 185 

hinc fama in populos iurati didita belli. 



" Carthaginian and Spanish. 
* i.e, Hasdrubars. " Hamilcar. 



16 



PUNICA, I. 160-186 

to enter the battle and last to lay down the sword, 
when he sat high on his steed and urged it on with 
loosened reins, no sword could stop him nor spear 
hurled from far ; on he flew in triumph, and the 
golden armour of Tagus was well known throughout 
both armies." Then a servant, when he saw that 
hideous death and the body of Tagus hanging on the 
fatal tree, stole his master's favourite sword and 
rushed into the palace, where he smote that savage 
breast ^ once and again. Carthaginians are cruel ; and 
now, in their anger and grief, they made haste to 
bring the tortures. Every device was used — fire and 
white-hot steel, scourges that cut the body to ribbons 
with a rain of blows past counting, the hands of the 
torturers, the agony driven home into the marrow, 
the flame burning in the heart of the wound. Dread- 
ful to see and even to relate, the limbs were expanded 
by the torturers' ingenuity and grew as much as 
the torment required ; and, when all the blood had 
gushed forth, the bones still smoked and burned on, 
after the limbs were consumed. But the man's spirit 
remained unbroken ; he was the master still and 
despised the suffering ; like a mere looker-on he 
blamed the myrmidons of the torturer for flagging 
in their task and loudly demanded to be crucified like 
his master. 

While this piteous punishment was inflicted on a 
victim who made light of it, the soldiers, disturbed by 
the loss of their general, with one voice and with 
eager enthusiasm demanded Hannibal for their leader. 
Their favour was due to many causes — the reflection 
in him of his father's " valour ; the report, broadcast 
among the nations, that he was the sworn enemy of 
Rome ; his youth eager for action and the fiery spirit 

17 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

hinc virides ausis anni fervorque decorus 
atque armata dolis mens et vis insita fandi. 
Primi ductorem Libyes clamore salutant, 
mox et Pyrenes populi et bellator Hiberus. 190 

continuoque ferox oritur fiducia menti, 
cessisse imperio tantum terraeque marisque. 
Aeoliis candens austris et lampade Phoebi 
aestifero Libye torretur subdita Cancro, 
aut ingens Asiae latus, aut pars tertia terris. 195 

terminus huie roseos amnis Lageus ad ortus 
septeno impellens tumefactum gurgite pontum ; 
at qua diversas clementior aspicit Arctos, 
Herculeo dirimente freto, diducta propinquis 
Europes videt arva iugis ; ultra obsidet aequor, 200 
nee patitur nomen proferri longius Atlas, 
Atlas subducto tracturus vertice caelum, 
sidera nubiferum fulcit caput, aetheriasque 
erigit aeternum compages ardua cervix, 
canet barba gelu, frontemque immanibus umbris 205 
pinea silva premit ; vastant cava tempora vent), 
nimbosoque ruunt spumantia flumina rictu. 
tum geminas laterum cautes maria alta fatigant, 
atque ubi fessus equos Titan immersit anhelos, 
flammiferum condunt fumanti gurgite currum. 210 
sed qua se campis squalentibus Africa tendit, 
serpentum largo coquitur fecunda veneno ; 
felix qua pingues mitis plaga temperat agros, 
nee Cerere Hennaea Phario nee victa colono. 

" African peoples subject to Carthage. 

* Aeolus was the ruler of all winds and kept them in prison. 

' The Nile, which flows into the sea by seven mouths. 
Lagus, a Macedonian general, founded the dynasty of the 
Ptolemies. 

** The Bears are the two northern constellations so named. 

« Atlas, the mountain range which bou'ids N.W. Africa, 
18 



PUNICA, I. 187-214 

that well became him ; his heart equipped with guile, 
and his native eloquence. 

The Libyans " were first to hail him with applause 
as their leader, and the Pyrenean tribes and warlike 
Spaniards followed them. At once his heart swelled 
with pride and satisfaction that so much of land and 
sea had come under his sway. Libya lies under the 
burning sign of Cancer, and is parched by the south 
winds of Aeolus ^ and the sun's disk. It is either a 
huge offshoot of Asia, or a third continent of the world. 
It is bounded on the rosy east by the river of Lagus,*' 
which strikes the swollen sea with seven streams. 
But, where the land in milder mood faces the opposing 
Bears ,'^ it is cut off by the straits of Hercules, and, 
though parted from them, looks on the lands of 
Europe from its adjacent heights ; the ocean blocks 
its further extension, and Atlas * forbids its name to 
be carried further — Atlas, who would bring down the 
sky, if he withdrew his shoulders. His cloud-capt 
head supports the stars, and his soaring neck for ever 
holds aloft the firmament of heaven. His beard is 
white with frost, and pine-forests crown his brow with 
their vast shade ; winds ravage his hollow temples, 
and foaming rivers rush down from his streaming open 
jaws. Moreover, the deep seas assail th"'e cliffs on 
both his flanks, and, when the weary Titan ^ has 
bathed his panting steeds, hide his flaming car in the 
steaming ocean. But, where Africa spreads her un- 
tilled plains, the burnt-up land bears nothing but 
the poison of snakes in plenty ; though, where a 
temperate strip blesses the fields, her fertility is not 
surpassed by the crops of Henna ^ nor by the Egyptian 

was personified by the Greeks as a giant who supports heaven 
on his shoulders. * The sun. " Sicily. 

19 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

hie passim exultant Numidae, gens inscia freni, 215 
quis inter geminas per ludum mobilis aures 
quadrupedem flectit non cedens virga lupatis. 
altrix bellorum bellatorumque virorum 
tellus, nee fidens nudo sine fraudibus ensi. 

Altera complebant Hispanae castra cohortes, 220 
auxilia Europae genitoris parta tropaeis. 
Martius hinc campos sonipes hinnitibus implet, 
hinc iuga cornipedes erecti bellica raptant ; 
non Eleus eat campo ferventior axis, 
prodiga gens animae et properare facillima mortem, 
namque ubi transeendit florentes viribus annos, 226 
impatiens aevi spernit novisse senectam, 
et fati modus in dextra est. his omne metallum : 
electri gemino pallent de semine venae, 
atque atros chalybis fetus humus horrida nutrit. 230 
sed scelerum causas operit deus : Astur avarus 
visceribus lacerae telluris mergitur imis 
et redit infelix efFosso concolor auro. 
hinc certant, Pactole, tibi Duriusque Tagusque, 
quique super Gravios lucent es volvit harenas, 235 
infernae populis referens oblivia Lethes. 
nee Cereri terra indocilis nee inhospita Baccho, 
nullaque Palladia sese magis arbore tollit. 



" This fact is asserted by Virgil and Lucan, and repeatedly 
by Silius : see ii. 64, iii. 293, xvi. 200. 

'' They poison their weapons. 

•^ At the Olympic games. 

** He puts an end to his own life. 

* Electrum was a natural metal, called by the Greeks 
** white gold " : it was partly gold and partly silver. 

^ There was in Spain, in the land of the Gravii, a river 
called Oblivio and therefore said to recall Lethe, the river 
20 



1 



PUNICA, I. 215-238 

husbandman. Here the Numidians rove at large, a 
nation that knows not the bridle ; for the light switch 
they ply between its ears turns the horse about in 
their sport, no less effectively than the bit." This 
land breeds wars and warriors ; nor do they trust 
to the naked sword but use guile ^ also. 

A second camp was filled with Spanish troops, 
European allies whom the victories of Hamilcar had 
gained. Here the war-horse filled the plains with 
his neighings, and here high-mettled steeds drew 
along chariots of war ; not even the drivers at 
Olympia " could dash over the course with more fiery 
haste. That people recks little of life, and they are 
most ready to anticipate death. For, when a man has 
passed the years of youthful strength, he cannot bear 
to live on and disdains acquaintance with old age ; 
and his span of life depends on his own right arm.** 
All metals are found here : there are veins of elec- 
trum,® whose yellow hue shows their double origin, 
and the rugged soil feeds the black crop of iron. 
Heaven covered up the incentives to crime ; but the 
covetous Asturian plunges deep into the bowels of 
the mangled earth, and the wretch returns with a 
face as yellow as the gold he has dug out. The 
Durius and the Tagus of this land challenge the 
Pactolus ; and so does the river which rolls its glitter- 
ing sands over the land of the Gravii and reproduces 
for the inhabitants the forgetfulness of Lethe in the 
nether world.^ Spain is not unfit for corn-crops nor 
unfriendly to the vine ; and there is no land in which 
the tree of Pallas ^ rises higher. 

in Hades whose water takes away the memory of past events. 
The Durius (now Duero) is a river in Portugal. 
' The oUve. 
^ OL. I B 2 21 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Hae postquam Tyrio gentes cessere tyranno, 
utque dati rerum freni, tunc arte paterna 240 

conciliare viros ; armis consulta senatus 
vertere, nunc donis. primus sumpsisse laborem, 
primus iter carpsisse pedes partemque subire, 
si valli festinet opus, nee cetera segnis, 
quaecumque ad laudem stimulant ; somnumque 
negabat 246 

naturae noctemque vigil ducebat in armis, 
interdum proiectus humi turbaeque Libyssae 
insignis sagulo duris certare maniplis ; 
celsus et in magno praecedens agmine ductor 
imperium praeferre suum ; tum vertice nudo 250 
excipere insanos imbres caelique ruinam. 
spectarunt Poeni tremuitque exterritus Astur, 
torquentem cum tela lovem permixtaque nimbis 
fulmina et excussos ventorum flatibus ignes 
turbato transiret equo ; nee pulvere fessum 256 

agminis ardenti labefecit Sirius astro, 
flammiferis tellus radiis cum exusta dehiscit, 
candentique globo medius coquit aethera fervor, 
femineum putat humenti iacuisse sub umbra 
exercetque sitim et spectato fonte recedit. 260 

idem correptis sternacem ad proelia frenis 
frangere equimi et famam letalis amare lacerti 
ignotique amnis tranare sonantia saxa 
atque e diversa socios accersere ripa. 
idem expugnati primus stetit agger e muri, 265 

et quotiens campo rapidus fera proelia miscet. 



*» Spaniards. Asturia was a province of Spain, famous for 
its breed of horses and its gold-mines : see 1. 231. 

* The ancients supposed that Ughtning was caused by the 
action of wind upon the clouds. 

22 



PUNICA, I. 239-266 

When these peoples had yielded to the Tyrian ruler 
and he had received the reins of government, then 
with his father's craft he gained men's friendship ; 
by arms or by bribes he caused them to reverse the 
Senate's decrees. He was ever first to undertake 
hardship, first to march on foot, and first to bear a 
hand when the rampart was reared in haste. In all 
other things that spur a man on to glory he was 
untiring : denying sleep to nature, he would pass the 
whole night armed and awake, lying sometimes upon 
the ground ; distinguished by the general's cloak, he 
vied with the hardy soldiers of the Libyan army ; or 
mounted high he rode as leader of the long line ; again 
he endured bare-headed the fury of the rains and the 
crashing of the sky. The Carthaginians looked on 
and the Asturians ° trembled for fear, when he rode his 
startled horse through the bolts hurled by Jupiter, 
the lightnings flashing amid the rain, and the fires 
driven forth by the blasts of the winds ^ ; he was 
never wearied by the dusty march nor weakened by 
the fiery star of Sirius.^' When the earth was burnt 
and cracked by fiery rays, and when the heat of noon 
parched the sky with its blazing orb, he thought it 
womanish to lie down in the shade where the ground 
was moist ; he practised thirst and looked on a spring 
only to leave it. He would grasp the reins also and 
break in for battle the steed that tried to throw 
him ; he sought the glory of a death-dealing arm ; 
he would swim through the rattling boulders of an 
unknown river and then summon his comrades from 
the opposite bank. He was first also to stand on the 
rampart of a city stormed ; and, whenever he dashed 
over the plain where fierce battle was joined, a broad 
* Sirius, the Dog-star, stands for the heat of summer. 

23 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

qua sparsit ferrum, latus rubet aequore limes, 
ergo instat fatis, et rumpere foedera certus, 
quo datur, interea Romam comprendere bello 
gaudet et extremis pulsat Capitolia terris. 270 

Prima Saguntinas turbarunt classica portas, 
bellaque sumpta viro belli maioris amore. 
baud procul Herculei tollunt se litore muri, 
clementer crescente iugo, quis nobile nomen 
conditus excelso sacravit colle Zacynthos. 275 

hie comes Alcidae remeabat in agmine Thebas 
Geryone extincto caeloque ea facta ferebat. 
tres animas namque id monstrum,tres corpore dextras 
armarat ternaque caput cervice gerebat. 
baud alium vidit tellus, cui ponere finem 280 

non posset mors una viro, duraeque sorores 
tertia bis rupto torquerent stamina filo. 
hinc spolia ostentabat ovans captivaque victor 
armenta ad fontes medio fervore vocabat, 
cum tumidas fauces accensis sole venenis 285 

calcatus rupit letali vulnere serpens 
Inachiumque virum terris prostravit Hiberis. 
mox profugi ducente Noto advertere coloni, 
insula quos genuit Graio circumflua ponto 
atque auxit quondam Laertia regna Zacynthos. 290 
firmavit tenues ortus mox Daunia pubes, 
sedis inops, misit largo quam dives alumno, 



" To the ancients Spain was the western limit of the world. 

'' Saguntum in Spain, like Massilia in Gaul, claimed to 
be a Greek city. The name was identified with Zacynthus, 
a companion of Hercules, whose tomb was shown there. 
The seizure of Geryon's cattle was one of the Labours of 
Hercules. Further, settlers were said to have come there 
from the Greek island of Zacynthus (now Zante). 

" The three Fates or Parcae. 

24 



I 



PUNICA, I. 267-292 



red lane was left on the field, wherever he hurled his 
spear. Therefore he pressed hard upon the heels of 
Fortune ; and, resolved as he was to break the 
treaty, he rejoiced meantime to involve Rome, as 
far as he could, in war ; and from the end of the 
world " he struck at the Capitol. 

His war-trumpets sounded first before the gates of 
dismayed Saguntum,^ and he chose this war in his 
eagerness for a greater war to come. The city, 
founded by Hercules, rises on a gentle slope not far 
from the coast, and owes its sacred and famous name 
to Zacynthus, who is buried there on the lofty hill. 
For he was on the march back to Thebes in company 
with Hercules, after the slaying of Geryon, and was 
praising the exploit up to the skies. That monster 
was furnished with three lives and three right arms 
in a single body, and carried a head on each of three 
necks. Never did earth see another man whom a 
single death could not destroy — for whom the stern 
Sisters " span a third lease of life when the thread 
had twice been snapped. Zacynthus displayed in 
triumph the prize taken from Geryon, and was calling 
the cattle to the water in the heat of noon, when a 
serpent that he trod on discharged from its swollen 
throat poison envenomed by the sun. The wound 
was fatal, and the Greek hero lay dead on Spanish 
soil. At a later time exiled colonists sailed hither 
before the wind — sons of Zacynthus, the island sur- 
rounded by the Ionian sea that once formed part of 
the kingdom of Laertes. '^ These small beginnings 
were afterwards strengthened by men of Daunia in 
search of a habitation ; they were sent forth by 

•* In Homer Zacynthus forms part of the dominions of 
Ulysses, son of Laertes. 

S5 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

magnanimis regnata viris, clarum Ardea nomen. 

libertas populis pacto servata decusque 

maiorum, et Poenis urbi imperitare negatum. 295 

Admovet abrupto flagrantia foedere ductor 
Sidonius castra et latos quatit agmine campos. 
ipse caput quassans circumlustravit anhelo 
muros saevus equo, mensusque paventia tecta, 
pandere iamdudum portas et cedere vallo 300 

imperat, et longe clausis sua foedera, longe 
Ausoniam fore, nee veniae spem Marte subactis ; 
scita patrum et leges et iura fidemque deosque 
in dextra nunc esse sua. verba ocius acer 
intorto sancit iaculo figitque per arma 305 

stantem pro muro et minitantem vana Caicum. 
concidit exacti medius per viscera teli, 
efFusisque simul praerupto ex aggere membris, 
victori moriens tepefactam rettulit hastam. 
at multo ducis exemplum clamore secuti 310 

involvunt atra telorum moenia nube. 
clara nee in numero virtus latet ; obvia quisque 
ora duci portans, ceu solus bella capessit. 
hie crebram fundit Baliari verbere glandem 
terque levi ducta circum caput altus habena 315 

permissum ventis abscondit in aere telum, 
hie valido librat stridentia saxa lacerto, 

" Daunia, properly a part of Apulia, is used here and else- 
where by Silius as another name for Italy. Ardea was a 
city in Latium, the capital of the Rutulians, and an important 
place about the beginning of authentic history. Hence the 
Saguntines are often called " Rutulians " by Silius. 

" Here and often the " treaty " means the conditions of 
peace dictated by Rome after the First Punic War. 



I 



PUNICA, I. 293-317 



Ardea<» of famous name — a city ruled by heroic kings, 
and rich in the number of her sons. The freedom of 
the inhabitants and their ancestral glory were pre- 
served by treaty ; and by it the Carthaginians were 
forbidden to rule the city. 

The Carthaginian leader broke the treaty * and 
brought his camp-fires close and shook the wide 
plains with his marching host. He himself, shaking 
his head in fury, rode round the walls on his panting 
steed, taking the measure of the terrified buildings. 
He bade them open their gates at once and desert 
their rampart ; he told them that, now they were 
besieged, their treaties and Italy would be far away, 
and that they could not hope for quarter, if defeated : 
" Decrees of the Senate," he cried, " law and justice, 
honour and Providence, are all in my hand now." In 
eager haste he confirmed his taunts by hurling his 
javelin and struck Caicus through his armour, as he 
stood on the wall and uttered idle threats. Pierced 
right through the middle, down he fell ; his body at 
once slipped down from the steep rampart ; and in 
death he restored to his conqueror the spear warmed 
with his blood. Then with loud shouting the soldiers 
followed the example of their leader, and wrapped the 
walls round with a black cloud of missiles. Their 
prowess was seen and not hidden by their numbers ; 
turning his face to the general, each man fought as 
if he were the only combatant. One hurled volleys 
of bullets with Balearic sling '^ : standing erect, he 
brandished the light thong thrice round his head, and 
launched his missile in the air, for the winds to carry ; 
another poised whizzing stones with strong arm ; a 

* The best slingers of that age came from the Balearic 
islands. 

27 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

huic impulsa levi torquetur lancea nodo. 
ante omnes ductor, patriis insignis in armis, 
nunc picea iactat fumantem lampada flamma, 320 
nunc sude, nunc iaculo, nunc saxis impiger instat 
aut hydro imbutas, bis noxia tela, sagittas 
contendit nervo atque insultat fraude pharetrae : 
Dacus ut armiferis Geticae telluris in oris, 
spicula qui patrio gaudens acuisse veneno 325 

fundit apud ripas inopina binominis Histri. 
Cura subit, collem turrita cingere fronte 
castelloque urbem circumvallare frequenti. 
heu priscis numen populis, at nomine solo 
in terris iam nota Fides ! stat dura inventus 330 

ereptamque fugam et claudi videt aggere muros, 
sed dignam Ausonia mortem putat esse Sagunto, 
servata cecidisse fide, iamque acrius omnes 
intendunt vires ; adductis stridula nervis 
Phocais effundit vastos balista molares ; 335 

atque eadem, ingentis mutato pondere teli, 
ferratam excutiens ornum media agmina rumpit. 
alternus resonat clangor, certamine tanto 
conseruere acies, veluti circumdata vallo 
Roma foret ; clamatque super : " tot milia, gentes 
inter tela satae, iam capto stamus in hoste ? 341 

anne pudet coepti ? pudet ominis ? en bona virtus 

" A thong or strap was often attached to the middle of the 
spear-shaft to increase its speed and force. 

'' The Getae were Scythians : the Dacians lived in what 
is now Hungary and Wallachia. 

" The Danube had two names in antiquity — Danubius and 
Ulster. 

28 



PUNICA, I. 318-342 

third threw a lance speeded by a light strap." In 
front of them all their leader, conspicuous in his 
father's armour, now hurls a brand smoking with 
pitchy flame, now presses on unwearied with stake 
or javelin or stone, or shoots arrows from the string — 
missiles dipped in serpent's poison and doubly fatal — - 
and exults in the guile of his quiver. So the Dacian, 
in the warlike region of the Getic ^ country, delighting 
to sharpen his arrows with the poison of his native 
land, pours them forth in sudden showers on the 
banks of the Hister, the river of two names. ^ 

The next task was to surround the hill with a front 
of towers and blockade the city with a ring of forts. 
Alas for Loyalty, worshipped by former ages but now 
known on earth by name only ! The hardy citizens 
stand there, seeing escape cut off and their walls 
enclosed by a mound ; but they think it a death 
worthy of Italy, for Saguntum to fall with her loyalty 
preserved. Now they exert all their strength with 
increased ardour : the catapult of Marseilles <* 
launches with a roar huge boulders from its tightened 
cords, and also, when the burden of the mighty engine 
is changed, discharges tree-trunks tipped with iron, 
and breaks a way through the ranks. Loud rose 
the noise on each side. They joined battle with as 
much fierceness as if Rome were besieged. Hannibal 
also shouted : " So many thousand men, people born 
in the midst of arms — why do we stand still before 
an enemy we have already conquered ? Are we 
ashamed of our enterprise, or ashamed of our begin- 
ning ? So much for splendid valour and the first 

•* The catapult was probably made at Marseilles : it is 
called Phocaean, because Marseilles was a colony from 
Phocaea in Asia Minor. 

29 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

primitiaeque ducis ! taline implere paramus 
Italiam fama ? tales praemittere pugnas ? " 

Accensae exultant mentes, haustusque medullis 
Hannibal exagitat, stimulantque sequentia bella. 346 
invadunt manibus vallum caesasque relinquunt 
deiecti muris dextras. subit arduus agger 
imponitque globos pugnantum desuper urbi. 
armavit clauses ac portis arcuit hostem 350 

librari multa consueta falarica dextra, 
horrendum visu robur celsisque nivosae 
Pyrenes trabs lecta iugis, cui plurima cuspis 
vix muris toleranda lues ; sed cetera pingui 
uncta pice atque atro circumlita sulphure fumant. 355 
fulminis haec ritu summis e moenibus arcis 
incita, sulcatum tremula secat aera flamma, 
qualis sanguineo praestringit lumina crine 
ad terram caelo decurrens ignea lampas. 
haec ictu rapido pugnantum saepe per auras, 360 
attonito ductore, tulit fumantia membra ; 
haec vastae lateri turris cum turbine fixa, 
dum penitus pluteis Vulcanum exercet adesis, 
arma virosque simul pressit flagrante ruina. 
tandem condensis artae testudinis armis 366 

subducti Poeni vallo caecaque latebra 
pandunt prolapsam suffossis moenibus urbem. 

<• The war in Italy. 

^ The falarica was a missile of the largest dimensions, 
hurled by machinery from towers called falae. It had an 
iron head and wooden shaft ; and the iron just under the 
head was enveloped in tow steeped in pitch, which was 
ignited before the weapon was discharged. 

« This name was given to a formation often adopted by 
soldiers when besieging a town. The shields were carried 
above the men's heads and overlapped so as to form a pro- 
tection like the shell of a tortoise. 
SO 



PUNICA, I. 343-367 

exploit of your general ! Is this the glorious news 
with which we intend to fill Italy ? Are these the 
battles whose rumour we send before us ? " 

Fired by his words their courage rose high ; the 
spirit of Hannibal sank deep into their hearts and 
inspired them ; and the thought of wars to come « 
spurred them on. They attack the rampart with 
bare hands and, when thrust down from the walls, 
leave there their severed limbs. A high mound was 
erected and placed parties of combatants above the 
city. But the besieged were protected and the enemy 
kept away from the gates by thefalarica,^ which many 
arms at once were wont to poise. This was a missile 
of wood, terrible to behold, a beam chosen from 
the high mountains of the snow-covered Pyrenees, 
a weapon whose long iron point even walls could 
scarce withstand. Then the shaft, smeared with 
oily pitch and rubbed all round with black sulphur, 
sent forth smoke. When hurled like a thunder- 
bolt from the topmost walls of the citadel, it clove 
the furrowed air with a flickering flame, even as 
a fiery meteor, speeding from heaven to earth, 
dazzles men's eyes with its blood-red tail. This 
weapon often confounded Hannibal when it carried 
aloft the smoking limbs of his men by its swift 
stroke ; and, when in its flight it struck the side of a 
huge tower, it kindled a fire which burnt till all the 
woodwork of the tower was utterly consumed, and 
buried men and arms together under the blazing 
ruins. But at last the Carthaginians retreated from 
the rampart, sheltered by the close-packed shields of 
the serried " tortoise,"*' and sapped the wall unseen 
till it collapsed, and made a breach into the town. 

31 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

terribilem in sonitum procumbens aggere victo 
Herculeus labor atque immania saxa resolvens 
mugitum ingentem caeli dedit. Alpibus altis 370 
aeriae rupes, scopulorum mole revulsa, 
baud aliter scindunt resonant! fragmine montem. 
surgebat fcumulo certantumf* prorutus agger, 
obstabatque iacens vallum, ni protinus instent 
hinc atque hinc acies media pugnare ruina. 375 

Emieat ante omnes primaevo flore iuventae 
insignis Rutulo Murrus de sanguine ; at idem 
matre Saguntina Grains geminoque parente 
Dulichios Italis miscebat prole nepotes. 
hie magno socios Aradum clamore vocantem, 380 
qua corpus loricam inter galeamque patescit, 
conantis motus speculatus, euspide sistit ; 
prostratumque premens telo, voce insuper urget: 
" fallax Poene, iaces ; certe Capitolia primus 
scandebas victor : quae tanta licentia voti ? 385 

nunc Stygio fer bella lovi ! " tum fervidus hastam 
adversi torquens defigit in inguine Hiberi ; 
oraque dum calcat iam singultantia leto, 
" hac iter est," inquit, *' vobis ad moenia Romae, 
o metuenda manus : sic, quo properatis, eundum." 390 
mox instaurantis pugnam circumsilit arma 
et rapto nudum clipeo latus haurit Hiberi. 

^ The words obelized seem to he corrupt. 

" Ulysses ruled over the islands of Ithaca, Dulichium, and 
Zacynthos : hence Silius perversely uses " Dulichian " for 
" Saguntine," because men of Zacynthos had taken part in 
founding Saguntum. 

" Aradus, who hoped to attack Jupiter on the Capitol 
at Rome, is told to fight Pluto instead, the Jupiter of 
Hades. The Styx is one of the infernal rivers : see note to 
ii. 610. 
32 



PUNICA, I. 368-392 

The rampart gave way, the walls built by Hercules 
sank down with a fearful crash, and the huge stones 
fell apart, and a mighty rumbling of the sky 
followed their fall. So the towering peaks of the 
high Alps, when a mass of rock is torn away from 
them, furrow the mountain-side with the roar of an 
avalanche. With haste the ruined rampart was raised 
again ; and nought but the prostrate wall prevented 
both armies from fighting on in the wreckage that 
divided them. 

First of all Murrus sprang forward, conspicuous for 
his youthful beauty. He was of Rutulian blood, born 
of a Saguntine mother ; but he had Greek blood too, 
and by his two parents he combined the seed of Italy 
with that of Dulichium." When Aradus summoned 
his comrades with a mighty shout, Murrus watched 
his forward movement and stopped him ; and the 
spear-point pierced the gap that came between the 
breastplate and the helmet. Then pinning him to 
the ground with his spear he taunted him as well : 
" False Carthaginian, you lie low ; you were to be 
foremost, forsooth, in mounting the Capitol as a 
conqueror ; was ever ambition so presumptuous ? 
Go now, and fight the deity of the Styx instead!"^ 
Next, brandishing his fiery spear, he buried it in 
the groin cf Hiberus who stood before him ; and, 
treading on the features already convulsed in death, 
he cried : " Terrible as is your host, by this path 
must ye march to the walls of Rome ; thus must ye go 
to the place whither ye are hastening." Then, when 
Hiberus ^ tried to renew the combat, Murrus evaded 
the weapon and snatched the shield of his foe, and 

" There is some error here : Hiberus was a dying man in 
1. 388 ; in 1. 387 Hiberi has ousted some other name. 

33 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

dives agri, dives pecoris famaeque negatus 

bella ferisi arcu iaculoque agitabat Hiberus, 

felix heu nemorum et vitae laudandus opacae, 395 

si sua per patrios tenuisset spicula saltus. 

hunc miseratus adest infesto vulnere Ladmus. 

cui saevum arridens : " narrabis Hamilcaris umbris 

banc," inquit, ** dextram, quae iam post funera vulgi 

Hannibalem vobis dederit comitem " — et ferit alte 

insurgens gladio cristatae cassidis aera 401 

perque ipsum tegimen crepitantia dissipat ossa. 

turn frontem Chremes intonsam umbrante capillo 

saeptus et horrentes effingens crine galeros ; 

turn Masulis crudaque virens ad bella senecta 405 

Kartalo, non pavidus fetas mulcere leaenas, 

flumineaque urna caelatus Bagrada parmam 

et vastae Nasamon Syrtis populator Hiempsal, 

audax in fluctu laceras cap tare carinas — 

una omnes dextraque cadunt iraque perempti ; 410 

nee non serpentem diro exarmare veneno 

doctus Athyr tactuque graves sopire chelydros 

ac dubiam admoto subolem explorare ceraste. 

tu quoque fatidicis Garamanticus accola lucis, 

insignis flexo galeam per tempora cornu, 415 

heu frustra reditum sortes tibi saepe locutas 

mentitumque lovem increpitans, occumbis, Hiarba. 

^ feris Summers : ferens Bauer. 

" She was supposed to be especially fierce then. 

'' Bagrada is a river in N. Africa, after which this man was 
named. The " urn " of the river is its source. The Syrtes, 
as formidable to Roman mariners as the Goodwin Sands 
once were to us, are two rocky gulfs on the N. coast of 
Africa, between Cyrene and Carthage. 

" If he was a true-born child, the snake would not frighten 
him. 

<* The horn showed his connexion with the oracle of 
34 



PUNICA, I. 393-417 

pierced his unprotected side. Rich in land and rich 
in flocks but unknown to fame, Hiberus used to wage 
war against wild beasts with bow and javelin, happy, 
alas, in his forests and worthy of praise in his life of 
retirement, if he had never carried his arrows outside 
his ancestral woodlands. In pity for him Ladmus 
came up, intent to strike. But Murrus cried with a 
savage laugh : " Tell Hamilcar's ghost of my right 
arm, which, when the rabble are slain, shall send 
Hannibal to keep company with you all." Then, 
rising erect, he smote with his sword the crested 
brazen helmet and scattered the rattling bones of the 
skull right through their covering. Next, Chremes, 
whose unshorn brow was surrounded and shaded by 
his hair, and who made a shaggy cap of his locks ; 
then Masulis, and Kartalo, vigorous for war in green 
old age, who feared not to stroke the lioness with 
cubs • ; and Bagrada, whose shield was blazoned with 
the river's urn ^ ; and Hiempsal, one of the Nasa- 
monians who plunder the devouring Syrtis and make 
bold to pillage shipwrecks ; — all these were slain 
alike by that wrathful right hand ; and so was Athyr, 
skilled to disarm serpents of their fell poison, to send 
fierce water-snakes to sleep by his touch, and to test 
a child of doubtful birth by placing a horned snake 
beside it.*' Slain too was Hiarbas, who dwelt near 
the prophetic groves of the Garamantes, and whose 
helmet was conspicuous for the horn that curved 
over his temples ^ ; in vain, alas, he blamed the oracle 
that had so often promised a safe return, and Jupiter * 
for his breach of faith. By this time the rampart had 

Ammon, the supreme deity of Libya, who was commonly 
represented as wearing a ram's head. 

• Ammon was often called Jupiter Ammon. 

S5 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et iam corporibus cumulatus creverat agger, 
perfusaeque atra fumabant caede ruinae. 
turn ductorem avido clamore in proelia poscit. 420 
At parte ex alia, qua se insperata iuventus 426 
extulerat portis, ceu spicula nulla manusque 
vim ferre exitiumve queant, permixtus utrisque 
Hannibal agminibus passim furit et quatit ensem, 
cantato nuper senior quem fecerat igni 430 

litore ab Hesperidum Temisus, qui carmine pollens 
fidebat magica ferrum crudescere lingua, 
quantus Bistoniis late Gradivus in oris 
belligero rapitur curru telumque coruscans, 
Titanum quo pulsa cohors, flagrantia bella 435 

cornipedum afflatu domat et stridoribus axis, 
iamque Hostum Rutulumque Pholum ingentemque 

Metiscum, 
iam Lygdum Duriumque simul flavumque Galaesum 
et geminos, Chromin atque Gyan, demiserat umbris. 
Daunum etiam, grata quo non spectatior alter 440 
voce movere fora atque orando fingere mentes 
nee legum custos soUertior, aspera telis 
dicta admiscentem : " quaenam te, Poene, paternae 
hue adigunt Furiae ? non haec Sidonia tecta 
feminea fabricata manu pretiove parata, 445 

exulibusve datum dimensis litus harenis. 
fundamenta deum Romanaque foedera cernis." 
ast ilium, toto iactantem talia campo, 
ingenti raptum nisu medioque virorum 



" A Thracian people. 

* The Giants, sons of Earth who fought against the gods 
at Phlegra and were imprisoned under volcanoes when 
defeated. 
36 



PUNICA, I. 418-449 

grown higher with heaps of corpses, and the ruins 
smoked with horrid slaughter. Then with eager 
shout Murrus challenged Hannibal to combat. 

But Hannibal was far away, where a band of de- 
fenders had issued unexpected from the gates. As if 
no missiles or swords could bring him injury or death, 
he mingled with both armies and raged far and 
wide, brandishing the sword which old Temisus from 
the shore of the Hesperides had lately forged with 
magic spells — Temisus the powerful enchanter who 
believed that iron was hardened by incantations. 
Mighty was Hannibal as Mars when he careers far 
and wide in his war-chariot through the land of the 
Bistones," brandishing the weapon that defeated the 
band of Titans,^ and ruling the flame of battle by the 
snorting of his steeds and the noise of his chariot. 
Already Hannibal had sent down to Hades Hostus 
and Pholus the Rutulian and huge Metiscus, and, 
with them, Lygdus and Durius and fair-haired 
Galaesus, and a pair of twins, Chromis and Gyas. 
Next came Daunus, than whom no man was more 
skilled to move assemblies by the charm of eloquence 
and to mould men's minds by speech ; nor was any 
man a more sagacious guardian of the laws. He 
mingled taunts with his blows : " What madness, 
inherited from your father, brings you hither, man of 
Carthage ? This is no Tyrian city built by a woman's 
hands or bought for money ; this is not a shore with 
a measured space of sand conceded to exiles " : you 
see here walls raised by gods, and allies of Rome." 
But even as he shouted such boasts over all the plain, 
Hannibal seized him with a mighty effort, and bore 

* This is an allusion to the circumstances in which Dido 
built Carthage: see i. 24, '25. 

37 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

avulsum inter tela globo et post terga revinctum 450 
Hannibal ad poenam lentae mandaverat irae ; 
increpitansque suos inferri signa iubebat 
perque ipsos caedis cumulos stragemque iacentum 
monstrabat furibundus iter cunctosque ciebat 454 
nomine et in praedas stantem dabat improbus urbem. 

Sed postquam a trepidis allatum fervere partem 
diversam Marte infausto, Murroque secundos 
hune superos tribuisse diem, ruit ocius amens 
lymphato cursu atque ingentes deserit actus, 
letiferum nutant fulgentes vertiee cristae, 460 

crine ut flammifero terret fera regna comet es, 
sanguineum spargens ignem : vomit atra rubentes 
fax caelo radios, ac saeva luce coruscum 
scintillat sidus terrisque extrema minatur. 
praecipiti dant tela viam, dant signa virique, 465 

atque ambae trepidant acies ; iacit igneus hastae 
dirum lumen apex, ac late fulgurat umbo, 
talis ubi Aegaeo surgente ad sidera ponto 
per longum vasto Cauri cum murmure fluctus 
suspensum in terras port at mare, frigida nautis 470 
corda tremunt ; sonat ille procul flatuque tumescens 
curvatis pavidas tramittit Cycladas undis. 
non cuncta e muris unum incessentia tela 
fumantesque ante ora faces, non saxa per artem 
tormentis excussa tenent. ut tegmina primum 475 
fulgentis galeae conspexit et arma cruento 
inter solem auro rutilantia, turbidus infit : 

*• Comets were supposed to portend a change of dynasty 
and to menace kings more than private men. 
S8 



PUNICA, I. 45r-477 

him from the centre of the fighting men, and bound 
his hands behind him, and reserved him to suffer the 
punishment of wrath deferred. Then, reproaching 
his men, he ordered the standards to be advanced, 
and right through the piled corpses and heaps of dead 
he pointed out the way in his frenzy, caUing to each 
man by name, and boldly promising them as booty 
the still untaken city. 

But when frightened messengers brought news that 
in a different quarter the fighting was fierce and they 
were losing the day, and that propitious gods had 
granted this day to Murrus, then Hannibal, abandon- 
ing his mighty exploits, flew off with frantic haste and 
the speed of a madman. The plume that nodded on 
his head showed a deadly brightness, even as a comet 
terrifies fierce kings " with its flaming tail and showers 
blood-red fire : the boding meteor spouts forth ruddy 
rays from heaven, and the star flashes with a dreadful 
menacing light, threatening earth with destruction. 
Weapons, standards, and men gave way before his 
headlong career, and both armies were terrified ; the 
fiery point of his spear shed a dreadful light, and his 
shield flashed far and wide. So, when the Aegean 
sea rises to the stars, and all along the coast, with a 
mighty roaring of the North-west wind, the waves 
carry ashore the piled-up sea, the hearts of seamen 
turn cold and tremble ; the wind roars far away, and 
with swelling blast and arching waves crosses the 
frightened Cyclades. Neither missiles from the walls, 
all aimed at him alone, nor smoking brands before his 
face, nor boulders hurled cunningly from engines, can 
arrest his course. As soon as he saw the glittering 
helmet on the head of Murrus, and his arms shining 
in the sunlight with blood-bedabbled gold, he began 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

*' en, qui res Libycas inceptaque tanta retardet, 
Romani Murrus belli mora ! foedera, faxo 
iam noscas, quid vana queant et vester Hiberus. 480 
fer tecum castamque fidem servataque iura, 
deceptos mihi linque deos." cui talia Murrus : 
" exoptatus ades : mens olim proelia poscit 
speque tui flagrat capitis ; fer debita fraudum 
praemia et Italiam tellure inquire sub ima. 485 

longum in Dardanios fines iter atque nivalem 
Pyrenen Alpesque tibi mea dextera donat." 

Haec inter cernens subeuntem comminus hostem 
praeruptumque loci fidum sibi, corripit ingens 
aggere convulso saxum et nitentis in ora 490 

devolvit, pronoque silex ruit incitus ictu. 
subsedit duro concussus fragmine muri. 
turn pudor accendit mentem, nee conscia fallit 
virtus pressa loco ; frendens luctatur et aegro 
scandit in adversum per saxa vetantia nisu. 495 

sed postquam propior vicino lumine fulsit 
et tota se mole tulit, velut incita clausum 
agmina Poenorum cingant et cuncta paventem 
castra premant, lato Murrus caligat in hoste. 
mille simul dextrae densusque micare videtur 500 
ensis, et innumerae nutare in casside cristae. 
conclamant utrimque acies, ceu tota Saguntos 
igne micet ; trahit instanti languentia leto 

<* In the treaty between Rome and Carthage, the river 
Ebro (Hebrtis) was the limit beyond which Carthage was 
forbidden to advance; and the freedom of Saguntum was 
guaranteed : see 11. 294, 295. 

^ The ground was littered with the stones that had formed 
the wall. Hannibal stood on an eminence formed by these, 
and Murrus had to climb over them. 

40 



PUNICA, I. 478-503 

in his rage : ** Behold Murrus ! Murrus is the man 
to impede the prowess of Libya and our might} 
enterprise, the man to hinder the war against Rome ! 
Soon will I make you learn the power of your useless 
treaty and your river Ebro." Take with you loyalty 
unstained and observance of law; leave to me the 
gods whom I have deceived ! " And Murrus addressed 
him thus : " I have longed for your coming ; my 
heart has long been eager for battle and aflame with 
hope to take your life ; take the deserved reward 
of your guile, and seek for Italy in the bowels of 
the earth. My right hand spares you the long march 
to Roman territory and the ascent of the snowy 
Pyrenees and the Alps." 

Meanwhile, seeing his foe come close, and that 
he could trust the overhanging ground where he 
stood, Hannibal rent the rampart and seized a huge 
rock and hurled it down upon the head of the climber ; 
and the stone fell swiftly with downward force. 
Smitten by the tough fragment of the wall, Murrus 
crouched down. But soon shame fired his heart ; and 
conscious courage, though taken at a disadvantage, 
did not fail him. Grinding his teeth, he struggled on, 
and with difficult effort climbed up over the stones * 
that barred his way. But when Hannibal shone 
closer with nearer light, and moved on in all his 
bulk, then the eyes of Murrus grew dark before his 
mighty foe ; it seemed as if the whole Carthaginian 
army were moving to close round him, and as if all 
the host were attacking him. He seemed to see a 
thousand arms and countless flashing swords, and a 
forest of plumes waving on his foe's helmet. Both 
armies shouted, as if all Saguntum were on fire ; 
Murrus in fear dragged along his limbs faint with the 

41 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

membra pavens Murrus supremaque vota capessit : 
" conditor Alcide, cuius vestigia sacra 605 

incolimus terra, minitantem averte procellam, 
si tua non segni defense moenia dextra." 

Dumque orat caeloque attoUit lumina supplex, 
" cerne," ait, " an nostris longe Tirynthius ausis 
iustius afFuerit. ni displicet aemula virtus, 510 

haud me dissimilem, Alcide, primoribus annis 
agnosces, invicte, tuis ; fer numen amicum 
et, Troiae quondam primis memorate ruinis, 
dexter ades Phrygiae delenti stirpis alumnos." 
sic Poenus pressumque ira simul exigit ensem, 515 
qua capuli statuere morae, teloque relate 
horrida labentis perfunditur arma cruore. 
ilicet ingenti casu turbata iuventus 
procurrit ; nota arma viri corpusque superbo 
victori spoliare negant : coit aucta vicissim 520 

hortando manus, et glomerata mole feruntur. 
hinc saxis galea, hinc clipeus sonat aereus hastis ; 
incessunt sudibus librataque pondera plumbi 
certatim iaciunt. decisae vertice cristae 
direptumque decus nutantum in caede iubarum. 525 
iamque agitur largus per membra fluentia sudor, 
et stant loricae squamis horrentia tela. 
nee requies tegimenve datur mutare sub ictu. 
genua labant, fessique humeri gestamina laxant. 
tum creber penitusque trahens suspiria sicco 530 

*• Another name for Hercules. 

* Hercules : he lived for many years at Tiryns, an ancient 
city near Argos. 

" See note to 1. 43. 
42 



PUNICA, I. 604-530 

approach of death, and uttered his latest prayer : 
" Alcides,** our founder, whose footprints we inhabit 
on hallowed ground, turn aside the storm that 
threatens us, if I defend thy walls with no sluggish 
arm." 

And, while he prayed and raised his eyes to heaven 
in supplication, the other spoke thus : " Consider 
whether the hero of Tiryns ^ will not far more 
justly assist us in our enterprise. If thou frownest 
not on rival valour, invincible Alcides, thou wilt recog- 
nize that I come not short of thy young years ; bring 
thy power to help me ; and, as thou art renowned 
for the destruction of Troy long ago," so support me 
when I destroy the scions of the Phrygian race." 
Thus Hannibal spoke ; and at the same time, clutch- 
ing his sword in fury, he drove it home till the hilt 
stopped it ; then he drew back the weapon, and his 
dread armour was drenched with the blood of the 
dying man. At once the fighters rush forward, 
troubled by the great man's fall, and defy the proud 
conqueror to take the famous armour and body of 
Murrus. Their numbers grow by mutual encourage- 
ment ; they unite and charge in a serried mass. 
Now stones rattle on Hannibal's helmet, and now 
spears on his brazen shield ; they attack with stakes, 
and vie with one another in swinging and hurling 
weights of lead. The plume was shorn from his 
head, and the glorious horsehair crest that nodded 
over the slain was torn in pieces. And now streams 
of sweat started out and bathed his limbs, and pointed 
missiles stuck fast in the scales of his breastplate. 
No respite was possible and no change of armour, 
beneath the rain of blows. His knees shake, and 
his weary arms lose hold of his shield. Now too a 

43 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

fumat ab ore vapor, nisuque elisus anhelo 
auditur gemitus fractumque in casside murmur. 532 
fulmineus ceu Spartanis latratibus actus, 421 

cum silvam occursu venantum perdidit, hirto 
horrescit saetis dorso et postrema capessit 
proelia, canentem mandens aper ore crurorem, 
iamque gemens geminat contra venabula dentem. 425 
mente adversa domat gaudetque nitescere duris 533 
virtutem et decoris pretio discrimina pensat. 

Hie subitus scisso densa inter nubila caelo 536 

erupit quatiens terram fragor, et super ipsas 
bis pater intonuit geminato fulmine pugnas. 
inde inter nubes ventorum turbine caeco 
ultrix iniusti vibravit lancea belli 
ac femine adverso librata cuspide sedit. 540 

Tarpeiae rupes superisque habitabile saxum 
et vos, virginea lucentes semper in ara 
Laomedonteae, Troiana altaria, flammae, 
heu quantum vobis fallacis imagine tell 
promisere dei ! propius si pressa furenti 545 

hasta foret, clausae starent mortalibus Alpes, 
nee, Thrasymenne, tuis nunc Allia cederet undis. 

Sed luno, aspectans Pyrenes vertice celsae 
nava rudimenta et primos in Marte calores, 
ut videt impressum coniecta cuspide vulnus, 550 

« It is a historical fact that Hannibal was wounded before 
Saguntum. Silius seems to imply that Jupiter hurled the 
weapon. 

^ The ever-burning fire in the temple of Vesta is meant. 
The fire was brought from Troy, where Laomedon once was 
king, by Aeneas, and was kept alight at Rome. 

« The AlHa is a tributary of the Tiber where the Romans 
were defeated with great slaughter by the Gauls (390 b.c). 

44. 



PUNICA, I. 531-550 

constant steam comes smoking from his parched lips, 
with deep-drawn breaths, and men heard a groaning 
forced out with panting effort, and an inarticulate 
cry that broke against the helmet. So the furious 
wild boar, when pursued by baying hounds of Sparta, 
and when debarred from the forest by the hunters 
in his way, erects the bristles on his shaggy back 
and fights his last battle, champing his own foaming 
blood ; and now with a yell he dashes his twin tusks 
against the spears. By courage Hannibal overcomes 
disaster ; he is glad that valour is made brighter by 
hardship ; and he finds an equivalent for danger in 
the reward of glory. 

Now the sky was cloven, and a sudden earth-shak- 
ing crash burst forth among the thick clouds, and 
right above the battle the Father of heaven thundered 
twice with repeated bolt. Then, mid the blind hurri- 
cane of the winds, there sped between the clouds a 
spear to punish unrighteous warfare, and the well- 
aimed point lodged in the front of Hannibal's thigh. <* 
Ye Tarpeian rocks, where the gods have their dwell- 
ing, and ye fires of Laomedon, altars of Troy,^ that 
burn for ever with a flame tended by Vestals, how 
much, alas. Heaven promised to you by the appear- 
ance of that deceptive weapon ! If the spear had 
pierced deeper into the fierce warrior, the Alps had 
been for ever closed to mortal men, and Allia ^ would 
not now rank after the waters of Lake Trasimene.^ 

But Juno, surveying from the summit of the lofty 
Pyrenees his youthful prowess and martial ardour, 
when she saw the wound inflicted by the point of 

But, says Silius, the slaughter at Lake Trasimene was even 
greater. 

^ The third of the great battles won by Hannibal in Italy. 
VOL. I c 45 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

advolat, obscura circumdata nube, per auras 

et validam duris evellit ab ossibus hastam. 

ille tegit clipeo fusum per membra cruorem, 

tardaque paulatim et dubio vestigia nisu 

alternata trahens, aversus ab aggere cedit. 555 

Nox tandem optatis terras pontumque tenebris 
condidit et pugnas erepta luce diremit. 
at durae invigilant mentes, molemque reponunt, 
noctis opus, clauses acuunt extrema pericli 
et fractis rebus violentior ultima virtus. 560 

hinc puer invalidique senes, hinc femina ferre 
certat opem in dubiis miserando nava labori, 
saxaque mananti subvectat vulnere miles, 
iam patribus clarisque senum sua munia curae. 
concurrunt lectosque viros hortantur et orant, 565 
defessis subeant rebus revocentque salutem 
et Latia extremis implorent casibus arma. 
" ite citi, remis velisque impellite puppim, 
saucia dum castris clausa est fera ; tempore Martis 
utendum est rupto et grassandum ad clara periclis. 570 
ite citi, deflete fidem murosque ruentes 
antiquaque domo meliora accersite fata, 
mandati summa est : dum stat, remeate, Saguntos. 
ast illi celerant, qua proxima litora, gressum 
et fugiunt tumido per spumea caerula velo. 575 

Pellebat somnos Tithoni roscida coniux, 
ac rutilus primis sonipes hinnitibus altos 
afflarat montes roseasque movebat habenas. 
iam celsa e muris exstructa mole inventus 

« i.e. Hannibal. " Ardea, which is near Rome. 

• Aurora, Dawn. 
46 



PUNICA, I. 551-570 

the flying spear, hastened thither through the sky, 
veiled by a dark cloud, and plucked forth the stout 
spear from the tough bone. He covered with his 
shield the blood that poured over his limbs, and went 
back from the rampart, dragging his feet one after 
the other slowly and gradually with uncertain effort. 

Night at last buried land and sea in welcome 
darkness, and separated the combatants by robbing 
them of light. But resolute hearts kept watch, 
and they rebuilt the wall — their task for the night. 
The besieged were spurred on by the extremity of 
their danger, and their last stand was more furious 
in their desperate plight. Here boys and feeble old 
men, and there women, strove valiantly to carry on 
the piteous task in the hour of peril, and soldiers with 
streaming wounds carried stones to the wall. And 
now the senators and noble elders were heedful of 
their special duty. Meeting in haste, they chose 
envoys, and urged them with entreaties to be active 
in this grievous plight and bring safety back, and 
to entreat the aid of Roman armies in their ex- 
tremity. ** Go with speed ; urge on your ship with 
oar and sail, while the wounded wild beast ° is shut 
up in his camp ; we must take advantage of the inter- 
ruption of war, and rise to fame by danger. Go with 
speed ; lament our loyalty and our crumbling walls, 
and bring us better fortune from our ancient home.'' 
This is our final charge — return before Saguntum 
falls." Then the men hasten to the nearest coast, 
and fly with swollen sail over the foaming sea. 

The dewy spouse ^ of Tithonus was banishing sleep, 
and her ruddy steeds had breathed on the mountain- 
tops with their first neighings, and tugged at their 
roseate reins. Now high on the walls the inhabitants, 

47 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

clausam nocturnis ostentat turribus urbem. 580 

rerum omnes pendent actus, et milite maesto 
laxata obsidio, ac pugnandi substitit ardor, 
inque ducem versae tanto discrimine curae. 

Interea Rutulis longinqua per aequora vectis 
Herculei ponto coepere exsistere colles, 585 

et nebulosa iugis attollere saxa Monoeci. 
Thracius hos Boreas scopulos immitia regna 
solus habet semperque rigens nunc litora pulsat, 
nunc ipsas alls plangit stridentibus Alpes ; 
atque ubi se terris glaciali fundit ab Arcto, 590 

baud ulli contra fiducia surgere vento. 
verticibus torquet rapidis mare, fractaque anhelant 
aequora, et iniecto conduntur gurgite montes ; 
iamque volans Rhenum Rhodanumque in nubila tollit. 
hunc postquam Boreae dirum evasere furorem, 595 
alternos maesti casus bellique marisque 
et dubium rerum eventum sermone volutant. 
" o patria, o Fidei domus inclita, quo tua nunc sunt 
fata loco ? sacraene manent in collibus arces ? 
an cinis, heu superi ! tanto de nomine restat ? 600 
ferte leves auras flatusque ciete secundos, 
si nondum insultat templorum Poenicus ignis 
culminibus, Latiaeque valent succurrere classes." 

Talibus illacrimant noctemque diemque querellis, 

« Saguntines : see note to 1. 377. 

''Now Monaco, named after Hercules Monoecus as a 
protector of seamen : he had a temple on the promontory. 
48 



I 



PUNICA, I. 580-604 



oft on their finished work, point from the walls 
to their city, fenced in by towers that grew in 
the night. All activity was suspended ; for the 
sorrowing Carthaginians relaxed the vigour of the 
blockade, and their martial ardour paused ; it was 
to their leader in his great danger that their thoughts 
were turned. 

Meantime the Rutulians" had travelled far over 
the waters, and the hills of Hercules began to emerge 
from the sea, and to lift up from the range the cloud- 
capt cliffs of Monoecus.'' Thracian Boreas is the sole 
lord of these rocks, a savage domain ; ever freezing, 
he now lashes the shore, and now beats the Alps 
themselves with his hissing wings ; and, when he 
spreads over the land from the frozen Bear,'' no wind 
dares to rise against him. He churns the sea in 
rushing eddies, while the broken billows roar and the 
mountains are buried beneath water piled above 
them ; and now in his career he raises the Rhine and 
the Rhone up to the clouds. Having escaped this 
awful fury of Boreas, the envoys spoke sadly one to 
another of the hazards of war succeeded by the 
hazards of the sea, and about the doubtful issue of 
events. " Alas for our country, the famous home of 
Loyalty ! how do thy fortunes now stand ? is thy 
sacred citadel still erect upon the hills ? Or — alas, 
ye gods ! — are ashes all that remain of so mighty a 
name ? Grant us light airs, and send forth favouring 
breezes, if the Carthaginian fire is not yet triumphant 
over the tops of our temples, and if the Roman fleets 
have power to help us." 

Thus night and day they mourned and wept, until 

* The Bear denotes the North. 

49 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

donee Laurentes puppis defertur ad oras, 605 

qua pater, acceptis Anienis ditior undis, 
in pontum flavo descendit gurgite Thybris. 
hinc consanguineae subeunt iam moenia Romae. 

Concilium vocat augustum castaque beatos 
paupertate patres ac nomina parta triumphis 610 
consul et aequantem superos virtute senatum. 
facta animosa viros et recti sacra cupido 
attollunt ; hirtaeque togae neglectaque mensa 
dexteraque a curvis capulo non segnis aratris ; 
exiguo faciles et opum non indiga corda, 615 

ad parvos curru remeabant saepe penates. 

In foribus sacris primoque in limine templi 
captivi currus, belli decus, armaque rapta 
pugnantum ducibus saevaeque in Marte secures, 
perfossi clipei et servantia tela cruorem 620 

claustraque portarum pendent ; hie Punica bella, 
Aegates cernas fusaque per aequora classe 
exactam ponto Libyen testantia rostra ; 
hie galeae Senonum pensatique improbus auri 
arbiter ensis inest, Gallisque ex arce fugatis 625 

arma revertentis pompa gestata Camilli ; 
hie spolia Aeacidae, hie Epirotica signa 



« Laurentum was a town and district of Latium, about 
sixteen miles from Rome. In the legendary history it is the 
capital of Latium, and was the residence of King Latinus 
at the time when Aeneas landed in Italy. Laurentes is in 
Silius an equivalent of Bomani. 

^ An anachronism : Scipio was the first Roman general to 
take a name from a conquered country ; see note to xvii. 626. 

" This is a reference to Cincinnatus, who was summoned 
from his plough to be consul in 438 b.c. 

^ The Senate-house. The Senate often met in one of the 
temples at Rome. 

* See note to 1. 35. 

50 



PUNICA, I. 605-627 

their ship put in at the shore of Laurentum," where 
father Tiber, richer by the tribute of the Anio's 
waters, runs down with yellow stream into the sea. 
From here they soon reached the city of their Roman 
kinsmen. 

The consul summoned the worshipful assembly — 
the Fathers rich in unstained poverty, with names 
acquired by conquests ^ — a senate rivalling the gods in 
virtue. Brave deeds and a sacred passion for justice 
exalted these men ; their dress was rough and their 
meals simple, and the hands they brought from the 
crooked plough were ready with the sword-hilt ^ ; 
content with little, uncovetous of riches, they often 
went back to humble homes from the triumphal car. 

At the sacred doors and on the threshold of the 
temple ^ captured chariots were hung, glorious spoils 
of war, and armour taken from hostile generals, and 
axes ruthless in battle, and perforated shields, and 
weapons to which the blood still clung, and the bolts 
of city-gates. Here one might see the wars with 
Carthage, the Aegatian * islands, and the ships' prows 
which testified that Carthage had been driven from 
the sea when her fleet was defeated on the water. 
Here were the helmets of the Senones and the in- 
solent sword that decreed the weight of gold paid 
down,^ and the armour that was borne in the proces- 
sion of Camillus on his return, when the Gauls had 
been repulsed from the citadel ; here were the spoils 
of the scion of Aeacus, and here the standards of the 

' In 390 B.C. the Senones, a Gallic tribe, took Rome and 
burnt it. The Romans paid gold for a ransom ; and when 
the gold was being weighed, Brennus, the leader of the Gauls, 
threw his sword into the scale, as a gesture of contempt. 
Brennus was afterwards defeated by Gamillus. 

51 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et Ligurum horrentes coni parmaeque relatae 
Hispana de gente rudes Alpinaque gaesa. 

Sed postquam clades patefecit et horrida bella 630 
orantum squalor, praesens astare Sagunti 
ante oculos visa est extrema precantis imago, 
turn senior maesto Sicoris sic incipit ore : 
" sacrata gens clara fide, quam rite fatentur 
Marte satam populi ferro parere subacti, 635 

ne crede emensos levia ob discrimina pontum. 
vidimus obsessam patriam murosque trementes ; 
et, quern insana freta aut coetus genuere ferarum, 
vidimus Hannibalem. procul his a moenibus, oro, 
arcete, o superi, nostroque in Marte tenete 640 

fatiferae iuvenem dextrae ! qua mole sonant es 
exigit ille trabes ! et quantus crescit in armis ! 
trans iuga Pyrenes, medium indignatus Hiberum, 
excivit Calpen et mersos Syrtis harenis 
molitur populos maioraque moenia quaerit. 645 

spumeus hie, medio qui surgit ab aequore, fluctus, 
si prohibere piget, vestras se effringet in urbes. 
an tanti pretium motus ruptique per enses 
foederis hoc iuveni iurata in bella ruenti 
creditis, ut statuat superatae iura Sagunto ? 650 

ocius ite, viri, et nascentem extinguite flammam, 
ne serae redeant post aucta pericula curae. 
quamquam o, si nullus terror, non obruta iam nunc 
semina fumarent belli, vestraene Sagunto 

« Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who made war against Rome 
282- 275 B.C. He claimed descent from Achilles, the grandson 
of Aeacus. 

" See note to 1. 141. " See note to 1. 408. 

52 



PUNICA, I. 628-654 

Epirote," the bristling plumed helmets of the Ligures, 
the rude targets brought back from Spanish natives, 
and Alpine javelins. 

But when the mourning garb of the suppliants made 
plain their calamities and sufferings in war, the Senate 
seemed to see before them the figure of Saguntum 
appealing for help in her last hour. Then aged 
Sicoris thus began his sorrowful tale : " O people 
famous for keeping of your oaths, people whom the 
nations defeated by your arms admit with reason to 
be the seed of Mars, think not that we have crossed 
the sea because of trifling dangers. We have seen 
our native city besieged and its walls rocking ; we 
have looked on Hannibal, a man to whom raging seas 
or some union of wild beasts gave birth. I pray that 
Heaven may keep the deadly arm of that stripling 
far from these walls, and confine him to war against 
us. With what might he hurls the crashing beam ! 
How his stature increases in battle ! Scorning the 
limit of the Ebro, and crossing the range of the 
Pyrenees, he has roused up Calpe ^ and stirs up the 
peoples hidden in the sands of the Syrtis," and has 
greater cities in his eye. This foaming billow, rising" 
in mid-ocean, will dash itself against the cities of 
Italy, if you refuse to stop it. Do you believe that 
Hannibal, frantic for the war he has sworn to wage, 
will be content with this reward of his great enter- 
prise and his breach of treaty by force of arms — the 
conquest and submission of Saguntum ? Hasten, ye 
men of Rome, to put out the flame in its beginning, 
or the trouble may recur too late when the danger 
has grown greater. And yet — ah me ! — if no danger 
threatened you, if the hidden sparks of war were not 
at this moment smoking, would it be beneath you to 

VOL. I c 2 53 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

spernendum consanguineam protendere dextram ? 

omnis Hiber, omnis rapidis fera Gallia turmis, 656 

omnis ab aestifero sitiens Libys imminet axe. 

per vos culta diu Rutulae primordia gentis 

Laurentemque larem et genetricis pignora Troiae, 

conservate pios, qui permutare coacti 660 

Acrisioneis Tirynthia culmina muris. 

vos etiam Zanclen Siculi contra arma tyranni 

iuvisse egregium ; vos et Campana tueri 

moenia, depulso Samnitum robore, dignum 

Sigeis duxistis avis, vetus incola Daunus, 665 

testor vos, fontes et stagna arcana Numici, 

cum felix nimium dimitteret Ardea pubem, 

sacra domumque ferens et avi penetralia Turni, 

ultra Pyrenen Laurentia nomina duxi. 

cur ut decisa atque avulsa a corpore membra 670 

despiciar, nosterque luat cur foedera sanguis ? " 

Tandem, ut finitae voces, (miserabile visu) 
summissi palmas, lacerato tegmine vestis, 
affigunt proni squalentia corpora terrae. 
inde agitant consulta patres curasque fatigant. 675 
Lentulus, ut cernens accensae tecta Sagunti, 
poscendum poenae iuvenem celerique negantis 
exuri bello Carthaginis arva iubebat. 

" A reference to the Palladium, a statue of Pallas, which 
was brought from Troy to Rome and assured the safety of 
the city which contained it. 

" That is, to migrate from Ardea to Saguntum : Danae, 
daughter of Acrisius, was said to have founded Ardea. 

" Zancle, afterwards called Messana, when occupied by 
the Mamertines, was defended by Rome against Hiero, king 
of Syracuse. 

** In 343 B.C. the Romans rescued Capua, the capital of 
Campania, from the Samnites. 

' A name for Italy. 

54 



PUNICA, I. 655-678 

hold out to your city of Saguntum a kindred hand ? 
All Spain threatens us, all Gaul with her swift horse- 
men, and all thirsty Libya from the torrid zone. By 
the long-cherished origins of the Rutulian race, by the 
household gods of Laurentum, and by the pledges " 
of our mother Troy, preserve those righteous men 
who were forced to leave the walls of Acrisius for 
the towers of Hercules.^ It M^as your glory to help 
Zancle against the armies of the Sicilian despot ''; 
you deemed it worthy of your Trojan ancestors to 
defend the walls of Capua and drive away the strength 
of the Samnites.** I was once a dweller in Daunia * — 
bear witness, ye springs and secret pools of the river 
Numicius ^ ! — and when Ardea sent forth the sons in 
which she was too rich, I bore forth ^ the sacred things 
and the inner shrine from the house of Turnus, my 
ancestor, and carried the name of Laurentum beyond 
the Pyrenees. Why should I be scorned, like a limb 
cut off and torn from the body } and why should our 
blood expiate the breach of the treaty ? " 

At last, when they ceased to speak, it was pitiful 
to see them dash their unkempt bodies down upon 
the floor, with their open hands held up and their 
garments torn. Next the Fathers held counsel and 
carried on anxious debate. Lentulus, as if he actually 
saw the houses of Saguntum burning, moved that 
they should demand the surrender of Hannibal for 
punishment, and that, if Carthage refused to give 
him up, her territory should be ravaged with instant 

' A small river of Latium runnina: into the sea between 
Ardea and Laurentum : it was believed that Aeneas was 
buried beside the river. 

» The speaker identifies himself with the original settlers 
at Saguntum. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

at Fabius, cauta speculator mente futuri 
nee laetus dubiis parcusque lacessere Martem 680 
et melior clause bellum producere ferro : 
prima super tantis rebus pensanda, ducisne 
ceperit arma furor, patres an signa moveri 
censuerint ; mittique viros, qui exacta reportent. 
providus haec, ritu vatis, fundebat ab alto 685 

pectore praemeditans Fabius surgentia bella. 
|ut saepe e celsa grandaevus puppe magister, 
prospiciens signis venturum in carbasa Caurum, 
summo iam dudum substringit lintea malo. 
sed lacrimae atque ira mixtus dolor impulit omnes 
praecipitare latens fatum ; lectique senatu, 691 

qui ductorem adeant ; si perstet surdus in armis 
pactorum, vertant inde ad Carthaginis arces 
nee divum oblitis indicere bella morentur. 



" See note to ii. 6. 

** The Carthap:inians were unmindful of the gods, when 
they violated a treaty which they had sworn by the gods to 
observe. 



56 



PUNICA, I. 679-694 

war. But Fabius,** peering warily into the future, no 
lover of doubtful courses, slow to provoke war, and 
skilful to prolong a campaign without unsheathing 
the sword, was next to speak. He said that in so 
grave a matter they must first find out whether the 
madness of Hannibal began the war, or the senate of 
Carthage ordered the army to advance ; they must 
send envoys to examine and report. Mindful of the 
future and musing on the war to come, Fabius, 
prophet-like, uttered this advice from his lofty soul. 
Thus many a veteran pilot, when from his high 
poop he sees by tokens that the gale will soon fall 
upon his canvas, reefs his sails in haste upon the top- 
mast. But tears, and grief mixed with resentment, 
made them all eager to hasten the unknown future. 
Senators were chosen to approach Hannibal ; if he 
turned a deaf ear to his engagements and fought on, 
they must then turn their steps to the city of Carthafre 
and declare war without delay against men unmindful 
of the gods.^ 



57 



LIBER SECUNDUS 

ARGUMENT 

The Roman envoys, dismissed by Hannibal, proceed to 
Carthage (1-24). Hannibal addresses his tnen and goes on 
with the siege (25-269). The Roman envoys are received in 
the Carthaginian senate : speeches of Hanno and Gestar : 
Fabius declares war (270-390). Hannibal deals with some 
rebellious tribes and returns to the siege : he receives a 
gift of armour from the Spanish peoples (391-456). The 

Caeruleis provecta vadis iam Dardana puppis 
tristia magnanimi portabat iussa senatus 
primoresque patrum. Fabius, Tirynthia proles, 
ter centum memorabat avos, quos turbine Martis 
abstulit una dies, cum Fors non aequa labori 5 

patricio Cremerae maculavit sanguine ripas. 
huic comes aequato sociavit munere curas 
Publicola, ingentis Volesi Spartana propago. 
is, cultam referens insigni nomine plebem, 
Ausonios atavo ducebat consule fastos. 10 

Hos ut depositis portum contingere velis 

" Q. Fabius Maximus, the famous Dictator often men- 
tioned later in the poem, was one of the envoys. The Fabii 
claimed Hercules as their ancestor. In 480 b.c, three hun- 
dred Fabii with 4000 clients went out to fight against the 
people of Veil, and all but one of them fell by the river 
Cremera in Etruria. 

58 



BOOK II 

ARGUMENT (continued) 

sufferings of Saguntum (457-474). The goddess Loyalty is 
sent to the city by Hercules, its founder, and encourages them 
to resist (475-525). But Juno sends a Fury from Hell who 
drives the people mad (526-649). TJiey build a great pyre 
and light it. Hannibal takes the city (650-695). Epilogue 
by the poet (696-707). 

And now the Roman vessel, sailing forth over the 
blue water, carried leading senators with the stern 
behests of the high-souled Senate. Fabius, descended 
from Hercules, could tell of ancestors thre^ hundred 
in number, who were swept away in a single day by 
the hurricane of war, when Fortune frowned on the 
enterprise of the patricians and stained the banks of 
the Cremera with their blood.** With Fabius went 
Publicola, the Spartan descendant of mighty Volesus, 
and shared the duty in common with his colleague. 
Publicola showed by his name his friendship for the 
people, and the name stood first on the roll of Roman 
consuls, when his ancestor held office.^ 

When word was brought to Hannibal that the 

* Volesus, the founder of the famous Valerian family, was 
a Sabine, who settled at Rome. The Sabines claimed a 
Spartan origin. One of his descendants gained the name 
of Publicola(b^riend of the People), and was elected consul in 
the first year of the Republic, 509 b.c. 

59 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

allatum Hannibali consultaque ferre senatus 
iam medio seram bello poscentia pacem 
ductorisque simul conceptas foedere poenas, 
ocius armatas passim per litora turmas 15 

ostentare iubet minitantia signa recensque 
perfusos clipeos et tela rubentia caede. 
baud dictis nunc esse locum ; strepere omnia clamat 
Tyrrhenae clangore tubae gemituque cadentum. 
dum detur, relegant pontum neu se addere clausis 20 
festinent ; notum, quid caede calentibus armis, 
quantum irae liceat, motusve quid audeat ensis. 
sic ducis afFatu per inhospita litora pulsi, 
converso Tyrios petierunt remige patres. 

Hie alto Poenus fundentem vela carinam 25 

incessens dextra : " Nostrum, pro lupiter ! '* inquit, 
" nostrum ferre caput parat ilia per aequora puppis. 
heu caecae mentes tumefactaque corda secundis ! 
armatum Hannibalem poenae petit impia tellus ! 
ne deposce, adero ; dabitur tibi copia nostri 30 

ante expectatum, portisque focisque timebis, 
quae nunc externos defendis, Roma, penates. 
Tarpeios iterum scopulos praeruptaque saxa 
scandatis licet et celsam migretis in arcem, 
nullo iam capti vitam pensabitis auro." 35 

Incensi dictis animi, et furor additus armis. 
conditur extemplo telorum nubibus aether, 



" The war-trumpet was an Etruscan Invention. 

^ Italy. 

" The first time was during the Gallic invasion in 390 b.c. 

<* See note to i. 624. 

60 



PUNICA, IT. 12-37 

envoys had lowered sail and were gaining the har- 
bour, and that they brought a decree of the Senate 
demanding peace — a belated peace when war was 
already raging — and also the punishment of the 
general as laid down in the treaty, he quickly ordered 
squadrons in arms to display all along the shore 
menacing standards, shields newly dyed with blood, 
and weapons red with slaughter. ' ' This is no time for 
words," he cried ; " all the land is loud with the blare 
of the Tyrrhene « trumpet and the groans of the dying. 
Let them, while they may, put to sea again, and not 
make haste to join the besieged Saguntines ; we know 
the licence of passion and of weapons reeking with 
slaughter, and the boldness of the sword, when once 
unsheathed." Thus accosted by Hannibal, the envoys, 
driven away along the unfriendly shore, turned their 
course about and made for the Carthaginian senate. 

Then Hannibal shook his fist at the vessel as she 
spread her sails : "Ye gods," he cried, "it is my 
head, even mine, which yonder ship seeks to carry 
across the sea ! Woe be to minds that cannot see, 
and to hearts puffed up with prosperity ! The un- 
righteous land ^ demands Hannibal, sword in hand, 
for punishment. Without your asking, I shall come ; 
you shall see enough of me before you expect me ; 
and Rome, which is now protecting foreign house- 
holds, shall tremble for her own gates and her own 
hearths. Though ye clamber a second time ^ up the 
steep cliffs of the Tarpeian rock and take refuge in 
your lofty citadel, ye shall not again, when made 
prisoners, ransom your lives for any weight of gold." ^ 

These words fired the courage of his troops, and 
they fought with fresh fury. Instantly the sky was 
hidden with clouds of missiles, and the towers of 

61 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et densa resonant saxorum grandine turres. 

ardor agit, provecta queat dum cernere muros, 

inque oculis profugae Martem exercere carinae. 40 

ipse autem incensas promissa piacula turmas 

flagitat, insignis nudato vulnere, ductor 

ac repetens questus furibundo personat ore : 

" poscimur, o socii, Fabiusque e puppe catenas 

ostentat, dominique vocat nos ira senatus. 45 

si taedet coepti, culpandave movimus arma, 

Ausoniam ponto propere revocate carinam. 

nil moror, evincta lacerandum tradite dextra. 

nam cur, Eoi deductus origine Beli, 

tot Libyae populis, tot circumfusus Hiberis, 60 

servitium perferre negem ? Rhoeteius immo 

aeternum imperet et populis saeclisque propaget 

regna ferox ; nos iussa virum nutusque tremamus." 

efFundunt gemitus atque omina tristia vertunt 

in stirpem Aeneadum ac stimulant clamoribus iras. 55 

Discinctos inter Libyas populosque bilingues 
Marmaricis audax in bella Oenotria signis 
venerat Asbyte, proles Garamantis Hiarbae. 
Hammone hie genitus, Phorcynidos antra Medusae 
Cinyphiumque Macen et iniquo a sole calentes 60 
Battiadas late imperio sceptrisque regebat ; 
cui patrius Nasamon aeternumque arida Barce, 

« Hannibal himself. * See note to i. 73. 

" Silius here uses " Rhoetean " as an equivalent of 
" Roman." Rhoeteum was a promontory in the Trojan 
country. This is more surprising than the names of Trojans, 
Phrygians, Dardanids, Priamids, Teucri, etc., which he con- 
stantly applies to the Romans : see p. xiii. 

•* i.e. the doom foreseen by Hannibal for Carthage. 

• Speaking Libyan and Egyptian. 

^ Asbyte is clearly modelled upon Camilla in the A eneid ( vii. 
803 foil.). The chief nations of Libya are enumerated below. 
62 



PUNICA, II. 38-62 

Sagimtum rattled under a thick hail of stones. Men 
were spurred on by their eagerness to wage war 
under the eyes of the retreating vessel, while she 
could still see the walls in her course. But their leader, 
conspicuous with his wound exposed to view, himself 
demanded of his excited soldiers the promised 
scapegoat,** and shouted his repeated complaint 
with frenzied utterance : " Comrades, the Romans 
demand my surrender ; and Fabius on the deck 
displays the fetters for me, and the wrath of the 
imperious Senate summons me. If you are weary of 
our enterprise, if the war we have begun is blame- 
worthy, then make haste to recall the Roman ship 
from the sea. I am ready : hand me over to the 
torturers with fettered wrists. For why should I, 
though I trace my pedigree to Belus ^ of the East, 
and am girt about by so many nations of Africa and 
Spain — why should I refuse to endure slavery ? 
Nay, let the Roman " rule for ever, and proudly 
spread his tyranny over the world for all generations : 
let us tremble at their nod and obey their bidding." 
His men groan aloud, and turn the evil omen ^ upon 
the race of the Aeneadae, and increase their ardour 
by shouting. 

Among the loosely-girt Libyans and the peoples 
of two tongues,^ Asbyte^ had come boldly to fight 
against Rome with troops from Marmarica. She was 
the child of Hiarbas the Garamantian ; and he was 
the son of Ammon and ruled with extended sway 
the caves of Medusa, daughter of Phorcys, and the 
Macae who dwell by the river Cinyps, and the 
Cyrenians whom the cruel sun scorches ; he was 
obeyed by the Nasamones, hereditary subjects, by 
ever-parched Barce, by the forests of the Autololes, 

63 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

cui nemora Autololum atque infidae litora Syrtis 

parebant nullaque levis Gaetulus habena. 

atque is fundarat thalamos Tritonide nympha, 65 

unde genus proavumque lovem regina ferebat 

et sua fatidico repetebat nomina luco. 

haec, ignara viri vacuoque assueta cubili, 

venatu et silvis primos dependerat annos ; 

non calathis mollita manus operatave fuso, 70 

Dietynnam et saltus et anhelum impellere planta 

cornipedem ac stravisse feras immitis amabat. 

quales Threiciae Rhodopen Pangaeaque lustrant 

saxosis nemora alta iugis cursuque fatigant 

Hebrum innupta manus : spreti Ciconesque Getaeque 

et Rhesi domus et lunatis Bistones armis. 76 

Ergo habitu insignis patrio, religata fluentem 
Hesperidum crinem dono dextrumque feroci 
nuda latus Marti ac fulgentem tegmine laevam 
Thermodontiaca munita in proelia pelta, 80 

fumantem rapidis quatiebat cursibus axem. 
pars comitum biiugo curru, pars cetera dorso 
fertur equi ; nee non Veneris iam foedera passae 
reginam cingunt, sed virgine densior ala est. 
ipsa autem gregibus per longa mapalia lectos 85 

ante aciem ostentabat equos ; tumuloque propinqua 
dum sequitur gyris campum, vibrata per auras 
spicula contorquens summa ponebat in arce. 



" The oracular shrine of Jupiter Ammon : see note to i. 415. 

* A name of Diana, the Huntress. 

" A warlike race of women, who play a great part in 
Greek mythology and art. They were supposed to live 
among the Thracian mountains, Rhodope and Pangaeus, 
and by the river Hebrus. 

^ A golden clasp is meant : the Hesperides were nymphs 
who guarded the golden apples near Mount Atlas. 
64 



PUNICA, II. 63-88 

by the shore of treacherous Syrtis, and by the Gae- 
tulians who ride without reins. And he had built 
a marriage-bed for the nymph Tritonis, from whom 
the princess was born ; she claimed Jupiter as her 
forefather and derived her name from the prophetic 
grove." She was a maiden and ever lay alone, and had 
spent her early years in the forest-chase ; never did the 
wool-basket soften her hands nor the spindle give her 
occupation ; but she loved Dictynna ^ and the wood- 
lands, and to urge on with her heel the panting steed 
and lay low wild beasts without mercy. Even so 
the band of Amazons '^ in Thrace traverse Rhodope 
and the high forests on the stony ridges of Mount 
Pangaeus, and tire out the Hebrus by their speed ; 
they spurn all suitors — the Cicones and Getae, the 
royal house of Rhesus, and the Bistones with their 
crescent-shaped shields. 

And thus conspicuous in her native dress — with 
her long hair bound by a gift from the Hesperides,*^ 
with her right breast bared for battle, while the 
shield glittered on her left arm and the target of 
the Amazons protected her in battle — she urged on 
her smoking chariot with furious speed. Some of her 
companions drove two-horse chariots, while others 
rode on horseback ; and some of the princess's escort 
had already submitted to the bond of wedlock, but 
the maidens of the troop outnumbered these. She 
herself proudly displayed before the line the steeds 
which she had chosen from the droves among distant 
native huts ; keeping near the mound, she drove 
round the plain in circles ; and, hurling her whizzing 
missiles through the air, she planted them in the 
summit of the citadel. 



Qb 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Haiic hasta totiens intrantem moenia Mopsus 
non tulit et celsis senior Gortynia muris 90 

tela sonante fugat nervo liquidasque per auras 
dirigit aligero letalia vulnera ferro. 
Cres erat, aerisonis Curetum advectus ab antris, 
Dictaeos agitare puer levioribus annis 
pennata saltus assuetus harundine Mopsus. 95 

ille vagam caelo demisit saepe volucrem ; 
ille procul campo linquentem retia cervum 
vulnere sistebat ; rueretque inopina sub ictu 
ante fera ineauto, quam sibila poneret arcus. 
nee se turn pharetra iactavit iustius ulla, 100 

Eois quamquam certet Gortyna sagittis. 
verum ut, opum levior, venatu extendere vitam 
abnuit, atque artae res exegere per aequor, 
coniuge cum Meroe natisque inglorius hospes 
intrarat miseram, fato ducente, Saguntum. 105 

coryti fratrum ex humeris calami que paterni 
pendebant volucerque chalybs, Minoia tela, 
hie, medius iuvenum, Massylae gentis in agmen 
crebra Cydoneo fundebat spicula cornu. 
iam Garamum audacemque Thyrum pariterque 
ruentes 110 

Gisgonem saevumque Bagam indignumque sagittae, 
impubem malas, tarn certae occurrere Lixum 
fuderat et plena tractabat bella pharetra. 
turn, vultum intendens telumque in virginis ora, 
desertum non grata lovem per vota vocabat. 115 

** Arrows in Latin poetry are generally " Dictaean " or 
* Gortynian " or " Cretan." Crete was famous for its 
archers ; and Dicte and Gortyn are Cretan cities. 

" The Curetes were the guardians of the infant Zeus 
(Jupiter) in Crete and drowned his cries by clashing their 
shields and cymbals. * The Parthian archers are meant. 
66 



PUNICA, II. 89-116 

Again and again she hurled her weapons within the 
walls ; but old Mopsus resented it, and sped from the 
high walls Cretan ° arrows from his twanging bow, 
and launched through the clear sky deadly wounds 
with the winged steel. He was a Cretan, who had 
voyaged from the caverns of the Curetes ^ that ring 
with brass. When young and nimble, he was wont 
to beat the coverts of Dicte with feathered shafts : 
oft did he bring down from the sky the wandering 
bird ; from a distance he would strike and stay the 
stag that was escaping from the nets along the plain ; 
and the beast would collapse, surprised by a blow 
unforeseen, before the bow had ceased to twang. 
Gortyna, though she rivals the arrows of the East," 
had more reason then to boast of Mopsus than of any 
other archer. But when, grown poor, he was un- 
willing to pass his whole life in hunting, and when his 
poverty drove him across the sea, he had come, a 
humble guest, with his wife Meroe and his sons ; and 
destiny had led him to ill-fated Saguntum. From 
the young men's shoulders there hung quivers and 
their father's arrows and the winged steel that is 
Crete's weapon. Mopsus, between his sons, was 
raining arrows from his Cydonian <* bow of horn upon 
the Massy lian warriors. Already he had laid low 
Garamus and bold Thyrus, and Gisgo rushing on 
together with fierce Bagas, and Lixus, yet beardless, 
who did not deserve to meet an arrow so unerring ; 
and he fought on with his quiver filled. Now he 
turned his eyes and his weapon against the face of 
Asbyte, and prayed to Jupiter ; but his prayer found 
no favour with the god whom he had deserted.* For 

** Cydon is another city of Crete. 
• By leaving Crete, the birthplace of Jupiter. 

67 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

namque ut fatiferos convert! prospicit arcus, 
opposite procul insidiis Nasamonias Harpe 
corpore praeripuit letum calamumque volantem, 
dum clamat, patulo excipiens tramisit hiatu, 
et primae ferrum a tergo videre sorores. 120 

at comitis frendens casu labentia virgo 
membra levat parvaque oculos iam luce natantes 
irrorat lacrimis totisque annisa doloris 
viribus intorquet letalem in moenia cornum. 
ilia volans humerum rapido transverberat ictu 125 
conantis Dorylae, iunctis iam cornibus arcus, 
educti spatium nervi complente sagitta, 
excutere in ventos resoluto pollice ferrum. 
tum subitum in vulnus praeceps devolvitur altis 
aggeribus muri, iuxtaque cadentia membra 130 

effusi versa calami fluxere pharetra. 
exclamat paribus frater vicinus in armis 
Icarus ulciscique parat lacrimabile fatum. 
atque ilium raptim promentem in proelia telum 
Hannibal excussi praevertit turbine saxi. 135 

labuntur gelido torpentia frigore membra, 
deficiensque manus pharetrae sua tela remisit. 
At pater in gemino natorum funere Mopsus 
correptos arcus ter maesta movit ab ira, 
ter cecidit dextra, et notas dolor abstulit artes. 140 
paenitet heu sero dulces liquisse penates, 
arreptoque avide. quo concidis, Icare, saxo, 
postquam aevum senior percussaque pectora frustra 
sentit et, ut tantos compescat morte dolores, 
nil opis in dextra, vastae se culmine turris 145 

*• The Nasamones were an African tribe who lived near 
the Syrtes and had an evil reputation as wreckers : see i. 409. 

^ This phrase is found elsewhere in Latin poetry : we 
should say " fell forward." 
68 



PUNICA, II. 116-145 

Harpe, a Nasamonian « maid, when she saw the fatal 
bow turned about, placed herself in the way of the 
distant danger, and anticipated the mortal blow ; 
and even as she shouted, the flying arrow struck her 
open mouth and passed through ; and her sisters first 
saw the point standing out behind her. But Asbyte, 
furious at the fall of her comrade, raised the prostrate 
body and wetted with her tears the swimming eyes 
with their failing light ; and then, putting forth all 
the strength of sorrow, she hurled her deadly spear 
against the city walls. On it flew and pierced with 
sudden blow the shoulder of Dorylas, as he strove to 
launch the steel into the air with loosened thumb — 
the ends of the bow already met, and the arrow filled 
the space left by the expanded string. Then he fell 
down headlong towards his sudden wound ^ from the 
high bastions of the wall, and beside his falling body 
the arrows poured forth from his upset quiver. His 
brother, Icarus, armed alike and standing near him, 
cried aloud and sought to avenge that pitiable death. 
But, as he put forth his weapon in haste for battle, 
Hannibal hurled a great stone and stopped him with 
its whirling mass. His limbs collapsed, stiff with icy 
cold, and his failing hand returned to the quiver the 
arrow that belonged to it. 

But Mopsus, when both his sons were slain, 
caught up his bow in his grief and rage, and bent it 
thrice ; but thrice his hand fell, and sorrow robbed 
him of his accustomed skill. Too late, alas ! he 
regrets to have left the land he loved. Eagerly he 
clutched the stone that had felled Icarus ; but, when 
the old man felt that his feeble blows on his own 
breast were vain, and knew that his arm could not 
help him to end his sore grief by death, he threw him- 

69 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

praecipitem iacit et delapsus pondere prono 
membra super nati moribundos explicat artus. 
Dum cadit externo Gortynius advena bello, 
iam nova molitus stimulate milite Theron, 
Alcidae templi custos araeque sacerdos, 150 

non expectatum Tyriis efFuderat agmen 
et fera miscebat reserata proelia porta, 
atque illi non hasta manu, non vertice cassis, 
sed, fisus latis humeris et mole iuventae, 
agmina vastabat elava, nihil indigus ensis. 155 

exuviae capiti impositae tegimenque leonis 
terribilem attoUunt excelso vertice rictum. 
centum angues idem Lernaeaque monstra gerebat 
in clipeo et sectis geminam serpentibus hydram. 
ille lubam Thapsumque patrem clarumque Micipsam 
nomine avi Maurumque Sacen, a moenibus actos 161 
palantesque fuga, praeceps ad litora cursu 
egerat, atque una spumabant aequora dextra. 
nee contentus Idi leto letoque Cothonis 
Marmaridae nee caede Rothi nee caede lugurthae, 165 
Asbytes currum et radiantis tegmina laenae 
poscebat votis gemmataque lumina peltae 
atque in belligera versabat virgine mentem. 
quem ruere ut telo vidit regina cruento, 
obliquos detorquet equos laevumque per orbem 170 
fallaci gyro campum secat ac velut ales 
averso rapitur sinuata per aequora curru. 

« For each head of the Hydra (a water-snake) that Her- 
cules cut off, two new heads grew. The priest of Hercules 
displays on his shield one of the Labours of Hercules. 

^ The allusion has not been explained. In 148 b.c. a 
Micipsa became king of Numidia and adopted Jugurtha. 
Perhaps the text is corrupt. Silius appears to be giving to 
70 



PUNICA, II. 146-172 

self headlong from the top of the huge tower ; and, 
ftilling heavily down, laid at full length his dying 
limbs on his son's body. 

While the Cretan stranger fell thus in foreign war, 
Theron, who guarded Hercules' temple and was priest 
at his altar, urged on the fighters and attempted a 
fresh effort. Unbarring a gate, he sent out a force 
to surprise the Carthaginians, and the fighting was 
fierce. He bore no spear in his hand nor helmet on 
his head ; but, trusting in his broad shoulders and 
youthful strength, he laid the enemy low with a club, 
and craved no sword. The skin stripped from a lion 
was laid on his head, and raised the terrible open 
mouth aloft on his tall figure. He bore likewise on 
his shield a hundred snakes and the monster of Lerna 
— the hydra ° that multiplied when the serpents were 
cut in two. Juba and his father Thapsus ; Micipsa, 
famous for the glory of his ancestor,^ and Saces the 
Moor — all these he had driven from the walls and 
pursued headlong to the shore as they fled in dis- 
order ; and his unaided arm made the sea foam with 
blood. Not satisfied with the death of Idus and the 
death of Cotho of Marmarica, nor with the slaughter 
of Rothus and the slaughter of Jugurtha, he raised 
his ambition to Asbyte's chariot, the glittering mantle 
that covered her, and her bright jewelled target ; 
and all his mind was fixed on the warrior maiden. 
When the princess saw him rushing on with blood- 
stained weapon, she made her horses swerve aside ; 
and thus, evading him by wheeling to the left, she 
cleaves the plain and flies like a bird over the curving 
field, showing him the back of her chariot. And, 

fictitious persons names that were famous later in Roman 
history. He does the same thino: elsewhere. 

71 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

dumque ea se ex oculis aufert, atque ocior Euro 

incita pulveream campo trahit ungula nubem, 

adversum late stridens rota proterit agmen, 175 

ingerit et crebras virgo trepidantibus hastas. 

hie cecidere Lycus Thamyrisque et nobile nomen 

Eurydamas, clari deductum stirpe parentis ; 

qui thalamos ausus quondam sperare superbos, 

heu demens ! Ithacique torum ; sed enim arte pudica 

fallacis totiens revoluto stamine telae 181 

deceptus, mersum pelago iactarat Ulixen ; 

ast Ithacus vero ficta pro morte loquacem 

affecit leto, taedaeque ad funera versae. 

gens extrema viri campis deletur Hiberis 185 

Eurydamas Nomados dextra ; superinstrepit ater 

et servat cursum perfractis ossibus axis. 

lamque aderat remeans virgo, inter proelia post- 
quam 
distringi Therona videt, saevamque bipennem 
perlibrans mediae fronti, spolium inde superbum 190 
Herculeasque tibi exuvias, Dictynna, vovebat. 
nee segnis Theron tantae spe laudis in ipsos 
adversus consurgit equos villosaque fulvi 
ingerit obiectans trepidantibus ora leonis. 
attoniti terrore novo rictuque minaci 195 

quadrupedes iactant resupino pondere currum. 
turn saltu Asbyten conantem linquere pugnas 
occupat, incussa gemina inter tempora clava, 
ferventesque rotas turbataque frena pavore 
disiecto spargit collisa per ossa cerebro ; 200 

ac rapta properans caedem ostentare bipenni, 

" Silius seems to have made a mistake. In Homer the 
suitor whom Penelope put off by her device of unravelling 
her web every night is called Eurymachus. 

" Ulysses. « See note to 1. 71. 

72 



PUNICA, II. 173-201 

while she vanished from his sight, and the hoofs of 
her horses, galloping swifter than the wind, raised a 
cloud of dust on the field, her crashing wheels crushed 
the opposing ranks far and wide ; and the maiden 
launched spear after spear upon them in their con- 
fusion. Here Lycas fell, and Thamyris, and Eury- 
damas <* of famous name, the scion of a noble stock. 
His ancestor, poor fool ! had dared long ago to covet 
a splendid marriage with the wife of the Ithacan ^ ; 
but he was taken in by the trick of the chaste wife, 
who unravelled every night the threads of her web. 
He had declared that Ulysses was drowned at sea ; 
but the Ithacan inflicted death upon the prater — real 
death and no fiction ; and funeral took the place of 
marriage. Now his latest descendant, Eurydamas, 
was slain by the hand of the Numidian queen : the 
fatal chariot thundered over his broken bones and 
kept its course. 

And now Asbyte came back to the place, when she 
saw Theron busy with battle ; and, aiming her fierce 
battle-axe at the centre of his brow, she vowed to 
Dictynna ^ a glorious spoil from it, even the lion-skin 
of Hercules. Nor did Theron hang back : eager for 
so great a prize, he rose up right in front of the horses 
and held before them the shaggy head of the tawny 
lion and thrust it in their frightened faces. Frantic 
with fear unfelt before — fear of the menacing open 
jaws — the coursers upset the heavy car and turned it 
over. Then, as Asbyte tried to flee from the fight, 
he sprang to stop her, and smote her between the 
twin temples with his club ; he spattered the glowing 
wheels and the reins, disordered by the terrified 
horses, with the brains that gushed from the broken 
skull. Then he seized her axe and, eager to display 

73 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

amputat e curru revolutae virginis ora. 

necdum irae positae ; celsa nam figitur hasta 

spectandum caput ; id gestent ante agmina Poenum, 

imperat, et propere currus ad moenia vertant. 205 

haec caecus fati divumque abeunte favore 

vicino Theron edebat proelia leto. 

namque aderat toto ore ferens iramque minasque 

Hannibal et caesam Asbyten fixique tropaeum 

infandum capitis furiata mente dolebat. 210 

ac simul aerati radiavit luminis umbo, 

et concussa procul membris velocibus arma 

letiferum intonuere, fugam perculsa repente 

ad muros trepido convertunt agmina cursu. 

sicut agit levibus per sera crepuscula pennis 215 

e pastu volucres ad nota cubilia vesper ; 

aut, ubi Cecropius formidine nubis aquosae 

sparsa super flores examina tollit Hymettos, 

ad dulces ceras et odori corticis antra 

mellis apes gravidae properant densoque volatu 220 

raucum connexae glomerant ad limina murmur. 

praecipitat metus attonitos, caecique feruntur. 

heu blandum caeli lumen ! tantone cavetur 

mors reditura metu nascentique addita fata ? 

consilium damnant portisque atque aggere tuto 225 

erupisse gemunt ; retinet vix agmina Theron 

interdumque manu, interdum clamore minisque : 

" state, viri ; meus ille hostis ; mihi gloria magnae. 



« Cecropian = Athenian. Cecrops was an ancient king of 
Athens : Hymettus, famous for its honey, is a hill at Athens. 
^ Cp. xvi. 73. 

74 






PUNICA, II. 202-228 

his slaughter of her, cut off the head of the maiden 
when she rolled out of her chariot. Not yet was his 
rage sated ; for he fixed her head on a lofty pike, 
for all to see, and bade men bear it in front of the 
Punic army, and drive the chariot with speed to the 
town. Blind to his doom and deserted by divine 
favour, Theron fought on ; but death was near him. 
For Hannibal came up, with wrath and menace 
expressed in every feature ; with frenzied heart 
he raged at the slaughter of Asbyte, and at the 
horrid trophy of her head borne aloft. And, as 
soon as his shield of glittering brass shone out, 
and the armour on his swift limbs, rattling afar, 
thundered forth doom, the enemy were suddenly 
stricken with fear and fled in haste tow ards the town. 
So, in the late twilight, evening sends the birds on 
their light wings back from their feeding-ground to 
their familiar roosts ; or so, when Cecropian Hymet- 
tus " scares with menace of a rain-cloud the swarms 
scattered over the flowers, the bees, heavy with 
honey, hasten back to their luscious combs and hives 
of fragrant cork ; they fly in a close pack, and unite 
in a deep humming noise outside the hives. Thus 
panic drove the frightened soldiers headlong, and 
they rushed on blindly. Ah ! how sweet is the light 
of heaven ! * Why do men shun with such terror 
the death that must some day come, and the sentence 
pronounced against them at birth ? They curse 
their design, and lament their sally from the protec- 
tion of the gates and the wall. Theron can hardly 
stop their flight, using force sometimes and some- 
times loud threats : " Stand fast, my men ; yon 
enemy belongs to me ; stand fast — victory in a 
mighty combat is coming to me. My right hand shall 

75 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

state, venit pugnae : muro tectisque Sagunti 
hac abigam Poenos dextra ; spectacula tantum 230 
ferte, viri ; vel, si cunctos metus acer in urbem, 
heu deforme ! rapit, soli mihi claudite portas." 
At Poenus rapido praeceps ad moenia cursu, 
dum pavitant trepidi rerum fessique salutis, 
tendebat ; stat primam urbem murosque patentes 
postposita caede et dilata invadere pugna. 236 

id postquam Herculeae custos videt impiger arae, 
emicat et velox formidine praevenit hostem. 
gliscit Elissaeo violentior ira tyranno : 
** tu solve interea nobis, bone ianitor urbis, 240 

supplicium, ut pandas," inquit, ** tua moenia leto." 
nee plura efFari sinit ira, rotatque coruscum 
mucronem ; sed contortum prior impete vasto 
Daunius huie robur iuvenis iacit ; arma fragore 
iota gravi raucum gemuere, alteque resultant 245 
aere illisa cavo nodosae pondera clavae. 
at viduus teli et frustrato proditus ictu, 
pernici velox cursu rapit incita membra 
et celeri fugiens perlustrat moenia planta. 
instat atrox terga increpitans fugientia victor. 250 
conclamant matres, celsoque e culmine muri 
lamentis vox mixta sonat ; nunc nomine noto 
appellant, seras fesso nunc pandere portas 
posse volunt ; quatit hortantum praecordia terror, 
ne simul accipiant ingentem moenibus hostem. 255 
incutit umbonem fesso assultatque ruenti 



* Daunian = Italian = Saguntine. 
76 



PUNICA, II. 229-256 

drive away the Carthaginians from the wall and houses 
of Saguntum : do your part as mere spectators ; or, 
if urgent fear drives you all into the city — a sorry 
sight — then shut your gates against me alone." 

But Hannibal was hastening with headlong speed 
towards the walls, while the besieged were in fear, 
trembling for their safety and despairing of life ; 
his purpose was to attack the city first through its 
open gates, deferring the slaughter of his foe. 
When the bold guardian of the temple of Hercules 
saw this, he sprang forward and, urged to speed by 
his fears, outstripped the foeman. The wrath of the 
Tyrian leader waxed yet fiercer : " You, worthy 
keeper of the city's gates, shall first suffer death at 
my hands, and by your death throw open the walls." 
Rage prevented further speech, and he whirled round 
his flashing sword ; but the Daunian ° warrior w as 
before him and swinging his club with mighty force 
threw it at Hannibal. Beneath that heavy blow his 
armour rang with a hollow sound ; and the weighty 
knotted club, crashing upon the hollow metal, re- 
bounded high. Then, unarmed and betrayed by his 
unsuccessful stroke, Theron urged his limbs to hasty 
flight and ran round the walls, seeking to escape 
by his speed. The conqueror pursued fiercely and 
taunted the back of the fugitive. The matrons cried 
out together, and their voices, together with wailings, 
rose up from the lofty summit of the wall ; now they 
address Theron by his familiar name, and now, too 
late, they wish for power to open the gate to him in 
his extremity ; but, even as they encourage him, 
their hearts are shaken by the fear that, together 
with him, they may admit within the walls their 
mighty foe. Hannibal struck the weary runner with 

VOL. ID 77 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Poenus et ostentans spectantem e moenibus urbem : 
** i, miseram Asbyten leto solare propinquo." 
haec dicens, iugulo optantis dimittere vitam 
infestum condit mucronem ac regia laetus 260 

quadrupedes spolia abreptos a moenibus ipsis, 
quis aditum portae trepidantum saepserat agmen, 
victor agit curruque volat per ovantia castra. 

At Nomadum furibunda cohors miserabile humandi 
deproperat munus tumulique adiungit honorem 265 
et rapto cineres ter circum corpore lustrat. 
hinc letale viri robur tegimenque tremendum 
in flammas iaciunt ; ambustoque ore genisque 
deforme alitibus liquere cadaver Hiberis. 

Poenorum interea quis rerum summa potestas, 270 
consultant bello super, et quae dicta ferantur 
Ausoniae populis, oratorumque minaci 
adventu trepidant, movet hinc foedusque fidesque 
et testes superi iurataque pacta parentum, 
hinc popularis amor coeptantis magna iuventae, 275 
et sperare iuvat belli meliora. sed, olim 
ductorem infestans odiis gentilibus, Hannon 
sic adeo increpitat studia incautumque favorem : 
** cuncta quidem, patres, (neque enim cohibere 

minantum 
irae se valuere) premunt formidine vocem. 280 

baud tamen abstiterim, mortem licet arma propin- 
quent. 

" Hanno, surnamed The Great, was a Carthaginian general 
and statesman, who possessed great influence in the Cartha- 
ginian senate, and always used it to oppose Hamilcar, and 
Hamilcar's sons, Hannibal and Hasdrubal. 
78 



PUNICA, II. 257-281 

his shield and sprang upon him as he fell ; then, 
pointing to the citizens watching from the walls, 
" Go ! " he cried, " and comfort hapless Asbyte by 
your speedy death ! " and at the same time buried 
his fatal sword in the throat of a victim who was 
fain to lose his life. Then the conqueror drove 
off with joy the horses taken from Asbyte, carrying 
them off from before the very walls, where the body 
of fugitives had used them to block the entrance of 
the gate ; and off he sped in the chariot through the 
triumphant lines. 

But the band of Numidians, frantic with grief, 
made haste with the sad office of burial, and gave 
Asbyte the tribute of a pyre, and seized the dead 
man's body and carried it thrice round her ashes. 
Next they cast into the flames his murderous club 
and his dreadful head-dress ; and, when the face and 
beard were burnt, they left the unsightly corpse to 
the Spanish vultures. 

Meanwhile the rulers of Carthage took counsel 
concerning the war and the answer they must send 
to the Italian people ; and the formidable approach 
of the envoys made them uneasy. On the one hand 
they were swayed by loyalty to the treaty, by the 
gods who witnessed it, and by the compact to which 
their fathers swore ; and on the other by the 
popularity of the ambitious young leader ; and they 
nursed a hope of victory. But Hanno,^ hereditary foe 
and constant assailant of Hannibal, with these words 
rebuked their zeal and heedless partiality : " Senators, 
all things indeed intimidate me from speaking ; for 
the angry threats of my opponents have proved unable 
to restrain themselves. Yet I shall not flinch, not 
even though I must soon die by violence. I shall 

79 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

testabor superos et caelo nota relinquam, 

quae postrema salus rerum patriaeque reposcit. 

nee nune obsessa demum et fumante Sagunto 

haec serus vates Hannon canit ; anxia rupi 285 

pectora, ne castris innutriretur et amis 

exitiale caput, monui et, dum vita, monebo, 

ingenitum noscens virus flatusque paternos ; 

ut, qui stelligero speculatur sidera caelo, 

venturam pelagi rabiem Caurique futura 290 

praedicit miseris baud vanus flamina nautis. 

consedit solio rerumque invasit habenas : 

ergo armis foedus fasque omne abrumpitur armis, 

oppida quassantur, longeque in moenia nostra 

Aeneadum arrectae mentes, disiectaque pax est. 295 

exagitant manes iuvenem furiaeque paternae 

ac funesta sacra et conversi foedere rupto 

in caput infidum superi Massylaque vates. 

an nunc ille novi caecus caligine regni 

externas arces quatit ? baud Tirynthia tecta 300 

(sic propria luat hoc poena nee misceat urbis 

fata suis), nunc hoc, hoc inquam, tempore muros 

oppugnat, Carthago, tuos teque obsidet armis. 

lavimus Hennaeas animoso sanguine valles 

et vix conducto produximus arma Lacone. 305 

nos ratibus laceris Scyllaea replevimus antra 

classibus et refluo spectavimus aequore raptis 

contorta e fundo revomentem transtra Charybdin. 

« This refers to the oath which Hamilcar made his son 
swear in Dido's temple, in the presence of the Massylian 
priestess : c/. i. 81-139. 

^ " Henna " = " Sicily." Hanno is referring to the First 
Punic War, when Sparta sent troops under Xanthippus, and 
Regulus, the Roman general, was defeated (258 b.c). 

" When defeated at sea near the Aegatian islands : see 
note to i. 35. 
80 



PUNICA, II. 282-308 

appeal to the gods, and I shall tell Heaven, ere I die, 
the measures demanded by the safety of the state 
and of our country in its extremity. Not now only, 
when it is too late, when Saguntum is besieged and 
burning, do I prophesy these evils : I made a clean 
breast of my fears : I warned you before and, while 
I live, shall go on warning you, not to suffer that 
instrument of destruction to be bred up in camps and 
in war ; for I marked the poison of his nature and his 
hereditary ambition, even as the watcher of the starry 
heavens foretells, not in vain, to hapless seamen the 
coming fury of the sea and the approaching blasts 
of the North-west wind. Hannibal has taken his 
seat on a throne and seized the reins of government ; 
and therefore the treaty is broken by the sword, and 
by the sword every obligation is broken ; cities are 
shaken, and the distant Aeneadae are alert to attack 
Carthage, and peace has been thrown to the winds. 
The young man is driven mad by the ghost and evil 
spirit of his father, by that fatal ceremony," by the 
gods who have turned against the breaker of faith 
and treaties, and by the Massylian priestess. Blinded 
and dazzled by new-gained power, he is overthrowing 
cities ; but are they foreign cities ? It is not Sagun- 
tum that he is attacking — so may he atone for this 
crime in his own person and not involve his country 
in his punishment — now, even now, I declare, he is 
attacking the walls of Carthage and besieging us with 
his army. We drenched the valleys of Henna with 
the blood of the brave, and could hardly carry on 
the war by hiring the Spartan. '' We filled Scylla's 
caverns with shipwrecks ^ ; and, when our fleets were 
borne away by the tide, we saw Charybdis whirling 
the rowers' benches round and spouting them forth 

81 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

respice, pro demens ! pro pectus inane deorum ! 
Aegates Libyaeque prociil fluitantia membra. 310 
quo ruis ? et patriae exitio tibi nomina quaeris ? 
scilicet immensae, visis iuvenilibus armis, 
snbsident Alpes, subsidet mole nivali 
Alpibus aequatum attollens caput Apenninus. 
sed campos fac, vane, dari. num gentibus istis 315 
mortales animi ? aut ferro flammave fatiscunt ? 
baud tibi Neritia cernes cum prole laborem. 
pubescit castris miles, galeaque teruntur 
nondum signatae flava lanugine malae. 
nee requies aevi nota, exsanguesque merendo 320 
stant prima inter signa senes letumque lacessunt. 
ipse ego Romanas perfosso corpore turmas 
tela intorquentes correpta e vulnere vidi ; 
vidi animos mortesque virum decorisque furorem. 
si bello obsistis nee te victoribus offers, 325 

quantum heu , Carthago , donat tibi sanguinis Hannon ! ' ' 
Gestar ad haec (namque impatiens asperque co- 
quebat 
iamdudum immites iras mediamque loquentis 
bis conatus erat turbando abrumpere vocem) : 
" concilione," inquit, " Libyae Tyrioque senatu, 330 
pro superi ! Ausonius miles sedet ? armaque tantum 
baud dum sumpta viro ? nam cetera non latet hostis. 
nunc geminas Alpes Apenninumque minatur, 
nunc freta Sicaniae et Scyllaei litoris undas ; 

" By '* limbs " it seems that separate parts of the Cartha- 
ginian empire, such as Sicily and Sardinia, are meant. 

" The false statement must be attributed to rhetorical 
licence. 

" The Saguntines are meant : they came originally from 
Zacynthus, an Ionian island ; and Neritus is a mountain in 
Ithaca, another Ionian island. 
82 



PUNICA, II. 309-334 

from her depths. Madman, with no fear of God in 
your heart, look at the Aegatian islands and the 
limbs " of Libya drifting far away ! Whither are you 
rushing ? Do you seek fame for yourself by the 
ruin of your country ? The huge Alps will sink down, 
forsooth, at sight of the stripling warrior ; and the 
snowy mass of the Apennines, that raise their summit 
as high as the Alps,^ will sink down also. But sup- 
pose, vain pretender, that you reach the plains ; that 
nation has a spirit that never dies ; sword and flame 
can never wear them out. You will not find yourself 
fighting there against the stock that came from 
Neritus.^ Their soldiers grow to manhood in the 
camp, and their faces rub against the helmet before 
they are marked by the golden down. Nor is rest 
known to them in age ; even old men, who have shed 
their blood in long service, stand in the front rank and 
challenge death. My own eyes have seen Roman 
soldiers, when run through the body, snatch the 
weapon from their wound and hurl it at the foe ; I 
have seen their courage and the way they die and 
their passion for glory. From how much bloodshed 
does Hanno save Carthage, if she sets her face against 
war and does not wantonly confront the conquerors!" 
To this speech Gestar replied. Harsh and im- 
patient, he had long been nursing bitter wrath, and 
twice had he tried to raise a disturbance and silence 
Hanno in the middle of his speech. " Ye gods ! " he 
cried : "is this a Roman soldier, seated in the 
council of Libya and the Carthaginian senate ? Arms 
he has not yet taken up ; but in all else the foeman 
stands declared before us. Now he threatens us 
with the twin ranges of Alps and Apennines, now 
with the Sicilian sea and the waves on Scylla's 

83 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nee procul est, quin iam manes umbrasque pavescat 
Dardanias ; tanta accumulat praeconia leto 336 

vulneribusque virum ac tollit sub sidera gentem. 
mortalem, mihi crede, licet formidine turpi 
frigida corda tremant, mortalem sumimus hostem. 
vidi ego, cum, geminas artis post terga catenis 340 
evinctus palmas, vulgo traheretur ovante 
carceris in tenebras spes et fiducia gentis 
Regulus Hectoreae ; vidi, cum robore pendens 
Hesperiam cruce sublimis spectaret ab alta. 
nee vero terrent puerilia protinus ora 345 

sub galea et pressae properata casside malae. 
indole non adeo segni sumus. aspice, turmae 
quot Libycae certant annos anteire labore 
et nudis bellantur equis. ipse, aspice, ductor, 
cum primam tenero vocem proferret ab ore, 350 

iam bella et lituos ac flammis urere gentem 
iurabat Phrygiam atque animo patria arma movebat. 
proinde polo crescant Alpes, astrisque coruscos 
Apenninus agat scopulos : per saxa nivesque 
(dicam etenim, ut stimulent atram vel inania 
mentem) 355 

per caelum est qui pandat iter, pudet Hercule tritas 
desperare vias laudemque timere secundam. 
sed Libyae clades et primi incendia belli 
aggerat atque iterum pro libertate labores 
Hannon ferre vetat. ponat formidinis aestus 360 
parietibusque domus imbellis femina servet 
singultantem animam ; nos, nos contra ibimus hostem, 

«» The Trojans, identified by Silius with the Romans. 

^ Regulus was tortured to death : see vi. 539 foil. ; and 
his dead body seems to have been crucified : see 1. 435. 
84 



PUNICA, II. 335-362 

shore ; he is not far from fearing the very shades 
and ghosts of the Romans : such praise does he 
heap upon their wounds and deaths, and exalts 
the nation to the sky. But, though his cold heart 
trembles with base fear, take my word for it, that 
the foe whom we are engaging is mortal. I was 
looking on, when Regulus, the hope and pride of 
Hector's race,** was dragged along amid the shouts of 
the populace to his dark dungeon, with both hands 
bound fast behind his back ; I was looking on, when 
he hung high upon the tree and saw Italy from his 
lofty cross. ^ Nor again do I dread the brows that 
wear the helmet in early boyhood, nor the heads that 
carry the steel cap before their time. The temper of 
our people is not so sluggish. Look at the Libyan 
squadrons : how many of them vie in exertions beyond 
their years, and go to war on bare-backed horses ! 
Look at Hannibal himself. When he was first able to 
utter speech from his childish lips, he pledged himself 
to war and the clarion's sound, and swore to consume 
the Phrygian people with fire, and fought in fancy 
the campaigns of his father, Hamilcar. Therefore, 
let the Alps soar to heaven, and the Apennines lift 
their glittering peaks to the stars : through rocks and 
snows — I will say it, that even an idle boast may sting 
a traitor's heart — through the sky itself our pioneer 
will find a way. Shameful is it to shun a path that 
Hercules trod and to shrink back from repeating his 
exploit. Hanno exaggerates the defeats of Libya and 
the conflagration of our first war with Rome, and for- 
bids us to bear hardship again in defence of freedom. 
Let Hanno still his agitation and fears, and keep his 
sobbing breath, like an unwarlike woman, behind the 
walls of his house. But we shall march against the 
VOL. I D 2 85 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

quis procul a Tyria dominos depellere Byrsa, 

vel love non aequo, fixum est. sin fata repugnant, 

et iam damnata cessit Carthagine Mavors, 365 

occumbam potius nee te, patria inclita, dedam 

aeternum famulam liberque Acheronta videbo. 

nam quae, pro superi ! Fabius iubet ? ocius arma 

exuite et capta descendite ab aree Sagunti. 

turn delecta manus scutorum incendat acervos, 370 

uranturque rates, ac toto absistite ponto. 

di, procul o, merita est numquam si talia plecti 

Carthago, prohibete nefas nostrique solutas 

ductoris servate manus ! " ut deinde resedit 

factaque censendi patrum de more potestas, 375 

hie Hannon reddi propere certamine rapta 

instat et auctorem violati foederis addit. 

tum vero attoniti, ceu templo irrumperet hostis, 

exsiluere patres, Latioque id verteret omen, 

oravere deum. at postquam discordia sensit 380 

pectora et infidas ad Martem vergere mentes, 

non ultra patiens Fabius rexisse dolorem, 

consilium propere exposcit, patribusque vocatis, 

bellum se gestare sinu pacemque profatus, 

quid sedeat, legere ambiguis neu fallere dictis 385 

imperat ac, saevo neutrum renuente senatu, 

ceu clausas acies gremioque effunderet arma : 

" accipite infaustum Libyae eventuque priori 

* The citadel of Carthage, built by Dido. The name is 
Semitic (Bozra = " a citadel "), but was corrupted by Greeks 
into Byrsa, " a bull's hide " ; and hence arose the legend 
that the settlers bought as much land as they could cover 
with a hide ; but they were ingenious people and cut up the 
hide into strips and surrounded with them as much space as 
they could. 
86 



PUNICA, II. 363-388 

foe — we who are determined, even if Jupiter is not 
on our side, to drive foreign rulers far from Tyrian 
Byrsa.** But, if Fate fights against us and Mars has 
already condemned Carthage and departed from her, 
I shall choose rather to fall ; I shall not hand over my 
glorious fatherland to eternal slavery, and I shall go 
down free to Acheron.^ For, ye gods ! what are the 
demands of Fabius ? ' Lay down your arms at once 
and depart from the captured citadel of Saguntum. 
Next, your picked troops must pile their shields and 
burn them ; your ships must be burnt, and you must 
withdraw altogether from the sea.' Ye gods, if 
Carthage never deserved such punishment, prevent 
the abomination, and keep the hands of our general 
unfettered." Then he sat down, and the senators 
were permitted to vote according to custom. But 
Hanno insisted that the spoils of war should be at 
once given up, and also the first breaker <' of the treaty. 
Then indeed the senate, as excited as if the enemy 
Avere bursting into the temple, sprang up and prayed 
the gods to turn the evil omen against Latium. But 
when Fabius perceived the division of opinion, and 
that their disloyal minds were inclining to war, he 
could master his resentment no longer ; and he de- 
manded a swift decision. When the senate was sum- 
moned, he began thus : " I carry war and peace here 
in my lap ; choose which ye will have, and cheat me 
not by an ambiguous answer." The angry senators 
said they would accept neither. Then, as if he were 
pouring out battle and war enclosed in his armS; 
*' Take war," he cried, " a fatal war for Libya, and 

'' Acheron, one of the rivers in Hades, is often used for 
Hades itself. 
* Hannibal. 

87 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

par," inquit, " bellum " — et laxos effundit amictus. 
turn patrias repetit pugnandi nuntius arces. 390 

Atque ea dum profugae regnis agitantur Elissae, 
accisis velox populis, quis aegra lababat 
ambiguo sub Marte fides, praedaque gravatus 
ad muros Poenus revocaverat arma Sagunti. 

Ecce autem clipeum saevo fulgore micantem 395 
Oceani gentes ductori dona ferebant, 
Callaicae telluris opus, galeamque coruscis 
subnexam cristis, vibrant cui vertice coni 
albentis niveae tremulo nutamine pennae ; 
ensem, unam ac multis fatalem milibus hastam ; 400 
praeterea textam nodis auroque trilicem 
loricam, nulli tegimen penetrabile telo. 
haec, aere et duri chalybis perfecta metallo 
atque opibus perfusa Tagi, per singula laetis 
lustrat ovans oculis et gaudet origine regni. 405 

Condebat primae Dido Carthaginis arces, 
instabatque operi subducta classe inventus, 
molibus hi claudunt portus, his tecta domosque 
partiris, iustae Bitia venerande senectae. 
ostentant caput effossa tellure repertum 410 

bellatoris equi atque omen clamore salutant. 
has inter species orbatum classe suisque 
Aenean pulsum pelago dextraque precantem 
cernere erat. fronte hunc avide regina serena 
infelix ac iam vultu spectabat amico. 415 

« Dido. 

* Gallicia is the northern part of Portugal, beyond the 
river Douro. The district was rich in metals, especially gold. 

" In what follows Silius has in mind the shield of Achilles 
described by Homer {II. xviii. 478 foil.) and the shield of 
Aeneas described by Virgil {Aen. viii. Q2Q foil.). 

^ The horse's head, supposed to be an omen of victory, 
appears on coins of Carthage. 
88 



PUNICA, II. 389-415 

like in its issue to the last " — and therewith he shook 
loose the folds of his gown. Then he returned to 
his native city, a harbinger of war. 

While this debate went on in the kingdom of the 
exile, Elissa," Hannibal swiftly despoiled those tribes 
whose loyalty was waxing faint as the war dragged 
on ; then, loaded with plunder, he took his army back 
to the walls of Saguntum. 

But behold ! the peoples who dwell by the Atlantic 
brought gifts to the general. They gave him a 
shield that glittered with cruel sheen, the work of 
Gallician *'' craftsmen; a helmet wreathed with flashing 
plumes, on the height of whose white crest snowy 
feathers nodded and waved ; a sword and a spear 
that, though it was but one, was to slay its thousands. 
There was also a cuirass wrought with triple bosses of 
gold, a defence that no weapon could pierce. This 
armour was wrought throughout of bronze and tough 
steel, and covered richly with the gold of the Tagus ; 
and Hannibal surveyed each part of it with joy and 
triumph in his eyes, and he delighted to see there 
depicted the beginnings of Carthage.*' 

Dido was shown building th e city of infant Carthage ; 
her men had beached their ships and were busily en- 
gaged. Some were enclosing a harbour vdth piers ; to 
others dwellings were assigned by Bitias, a righteous 
and venerable old man. Men pointed to the head of 
a warhorse which they had found in the soil when 
digging, and hailed the omen with a shout."' Amid 
these scenes Aeneas was shown, robbed of his ships 
and men and cast up by the sea ; with his right hand 
he made supplication. The hapless queen looked 
eagerly upon him with unclouded brow and with 
looks already friendly. Next, the art of Gallicia had 

89 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

hinc et speluncam furtivaque foedera amantum 
Callaicae fecere manus ; it clamor ad auras 
latrat usque canum, subi toque exterrita nimbo 
occultant alae venantum corpora silvis. 
nee procul Aeneadum vacuo iam litore classis 420 
aequora nequicquam revocante petebat Elissa. 
ipsa, pyram super ingentem stans, saucia Dido 
mandabat Tyriis ultricia bella futuris ; 
ardentemque rogum media spectabat ab unda 
Dardanus et magnis pandebat carbasa fatis. 425 

parte alia supplex infernis Hannibal aris 
arcanum Stygia libat cum vate cruorem 
et primo bella Aeneadum iurabat ab aevo. 
at senior Siculis exultat Hamilcar in arvis — 
spirant em credas certamina anhela movere, 430 

ardor inest oculis, torvumque minatur imago. 
Necnon et laevum clipei latus aspera signis 
implebat Spartana cohors ; hanc ducit ovantem 
Ledaeis veniens victor Xanthippus Amyclis. 
iuxta triste decus pendet sub imagine poenae 435 
Regulus et fidei dat magna exempla Sagunto. 
laetior at circa facies, agitata ferarum 
agmina venatu et caelata mapalia fulgent, 
nee procul usta cutem nigri soror horrida Mauri 
assuetas mulcet patrio sermone leaenas. 440 

it liber campi pastor, cui fine sine ullo 
invetitum saltus penetrat pecus ; omnia Poenum 
armenti vigilem patrio de more secuntur ; 

" Dido and Aeneas. ^ Aeneas. 

" See note to 1. 305. Amyclae is a city of Laconia, on 
the river Eurotas. 

^ See note to 1. 344. 

* This seems to refer to the tortures that preceded his 
crucifixion : see vi. 539 foil. 

90 



PUNICA, II. 416-443 

fashioned the cave and the secret tryst of the lovers* ; 
high rose the shouting and the baying of hounds ; 
and the mounted huntsmen, alarmed by a sudden 
rainfall, took shelter in the forest. Not far away, the 
fleet of the Aeneadae had left the shore and was 
making for the open sea, while Elissa was calling 
them back in vain. Then Dido by herself was stand- 
ing wounded on a huge pyre, and charging a later 
generation of Tyrians to avenge her by war ; and 
the Dardan,^ out at sea, was watching the blazing 
pile and spreading his sails for his high destiny. On 
another part of the shield Hannibal prayed at the 
altars of the nether gods, and, with the Stygian 
priestess, made a secret libation of blood, and swore 
to fight against the Aeneadae from his youth up. 
And old Hamilcar was there, riding proudly over the 
Sicilian fields ; one might think that he was alive and 
rousing breathless conflict — fire shines in his eyes, and 
his image is grim with menace. 

The left side also of the shield was filled with 
Spartan warriors, carved in high relief ; they were 
led in triumph by victorious Xanthippus,<^ who came 
from Amyclae, the city of Leda. Near them hung 
Regulus,** glorious in suffering, beneath a picture of 
his punishment,*' setting to Saguntum a noble example 
of loyalty. Hard by was a happier scene — herds of 
wild beasts chased by hunters, and African huts, 
carved in shining metal. Not far away the savage 
sunburnt sister of a blackamoor soothed lionesses, 
her companions, with her native speech. The shep- 
herd roamed free over the plains, and his flock, un- 
forbidden, made their way into pastures without 
limit ; the Punic guardian of the herd took all his 
possessions with him, according to the custom of his 

91 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

gaesaque latratorque Cydon tectumque focique 
in silicis venis et fistula not a iu vends. 445 

eminet excelso consurgens colle Saguntos, 
quam circa immensi populi condensaque cingunt 
agmina certantum pulsantque trementibus hastis. 
extrema clipei stagnabat Hiberus in ora, 
curvatis claudens ingentem flexibus orbem. 450 

Hannibal, abrupto transgressus foedere ripas, 
Poenorum populos Romana in bella vocabat. 
tali sublimis dono, nova tegmina latis 
aptat concutiens humeris celsusque profatur : 
" heu quantum Ausonio sudabitis, arma, cruore ! 455 
quas, belli index, poenas mihi. Curia, pendes ! " 
lamque senescebat vallatus moenibus hostis, 
carpebatque dies urbem, dum signa manusque 
expectant fessi socias. tandem aequore vano 
avertunt oculos frustrataque litora ponunt 460 

et propius suprema vident. sedet acta medullis 
iamdudum atque inopes penitus coquit intima pestis. 
est furtim lento misere durantia tabo 
viscera et exurit siccatas sanguine venas 
per longum celata fames ; iam lumina retro 465 

exesis fugere genis, iam lurida sola 
tecta cute et venis male iuncta trementibus ossa 
extant, consumptis visu deformia membris. 
humentes rores noctis terramque madentem 
solamen fecere mali, cassoque labore 470 

e sicco frustra presserunt robore sucos. 

" This appears to mean that the Roman Senate claim a 
right to forbid Carthage making war on Saguntum. 
92 



PUNICA, II. 444-471 

country — his javelins, his barking Cretan hound, his 
tent, his fire hidden in the veins of flint, and the reed- 
pipe vi^hich his steers know well. Conspicuous on the 
shield was Saguntum, rising on its lofty eminence ; 
and round it swarmed countless hosts and serried 
ranks of fighters, who assailed it with their quivering 
spears. On the outer rim of the shield flowed the 
Ebro, enclosing the vast circuit with its curves and 
windings. And there was Hannibal ; having broken 
the treaty by crossing the river, he was summoning 
the Punic nations to battle against Rome. Proud 
of such a gift, the leader fitted the new armour to 
his broad shoulders with a clang. Then, with head 
held high, he spoke thus : " Ah ! what torrents of 
Roman blood will drench this armour ! How great a 
penalty shall the Senate, the disposer of war,<^ pay 
to me ! " 

By now the beleaguered enemy was growing 
feebler, and time sapped the strength of the citizens, 
while they looked in their extremity for the eagles 
and troops of their ally. At last they turned their 
gaze away from the delusive sea, and gave up the 
shore as hopeless, and saw their doom at hand. In- 
ward pangs, piercing to the marrow, had long been 
fixed there, utterly consuming the starving people. 
Famine,longconcealed, devoured theirmuch-enduring 
flesh with slow and secret poison, and burnt up their 
bloodless veins ; by now their eyes sank back from 
the emaciated cheeks ; the bones, a hideous sight 
when the flesh was gone, stuck out, covered only by 
the yellow skin and ill-joined by the shaking arteries. 
They tried to ease their suffering by the moist dews 
and damp soil of night, and with useless toil squeezed 
in vain the sap from dry wood. They shrank from 

93 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nil temerare piget ; rabidi ieiunia ventris 
insolitis adigunt vesci ; resolutaque, nudos 
linquentes clipeos, armorum tegmina mandunt. 

Desuper haec caelo spectans Tirynthius alto 475 
illacrimat fractae nequicquam casibus urbis. 
namque metus magnique tenent praecepta parentis, 
ne saevae tendat contra decreta novercae. 
sic igitur, coepta occultans, ad limina sanctae 
contendit Fidei secretaque pectora tentat. 480 

arcanis dea laeta polo turn forte remoto 
caelicolum magnas volvebat conscia curas ; 
quam tali alloquitur Nemeae pacator honore : 
** ante lovem generata, decus divumque hominumque, 
qua sine non tellus pacem, non aequora norunt, 485 
iustitiae consors tacitumque in pectore numen, 
exitiumne tuae dirum spectare Sagunti 
et tot pendentem pro te, dea, cernere poenas 
urbem lenta potes ? moritur tibi vulgus, et unam 
te matres, vincente fame, te maesta virorum 490 

ora vocant, primaque sonant te voce minores. 
fer caelo auxilium et fessis da surgere rebus." 

Haec satus Alcmena ; contra cui talia virgo : 
" cerno equidem, nee pro nihilo est mihi foedera 

rumpi ; 
statque dies, ausis olim tarn tristibus ultor. 495 

sed me, pollutas properantem linquere terras, 
sedibus his tectisque novis succedere adegit 
fecundum in fraudes hominum genus ; impia liqui 

" Juno. 

* By killing the lion of Nemea, whose skin he wore ever 
after. 

" This is said more often of Astraea, the goddess of Justice — 
that she was forced to leave the earth because of the wicked- 
ness of men. 

94 



PUNICA, II. 472-498 

no pollution ; their fierce hunger forced them to eat 
strange food ; they stripped their shields bare and 
gnawed the loosened coverings of their bucklers. 

Hercules looked down from high heaven and beheld 
these things and wept over the calamities of the 
stricken town ; but he was helpless, and respect for 
the bidding of his mighty sire hindered him from 
opposing the decrees of his cruel stepmother.** 
Therefore, hiding his intent, he took his way to the 
abode of sacred Loyalty, seeking to discover her 
hidden purpose. It chanced that the goddess, who 
loves solitude, was then in a distant region of heaven, 
pondering in her heart the high concerns of the gods. 
Then he who gave peace to Nemea^ accosted her 
thus with reverence : " Goddess more ancient than 
Jupiter, glory of gods and men, without whom neither 
sea nor land finds peace, sister of Justice, silent 
divinity in the heart of man, canst thou look on un- 
moved at the awful doom of thine own Saguntum, 
and watch the city while it suffers so many penalties 
in thy defence ? For thy sake the people die ; the 
matrons, conquered by famine, call on thee alone ; 
the pitiful cries of the men invoke thee ; thy name is 
heard in the first utterance of their little ones. Bring 
help from heaven, and grant that the fallen may 
rise." 

Thus spoke Alcmena's son, and the goddess made 
answer: " I see it indeed, and the breaking of treaties 
is not disregarded by me : the day is fixed that shall 
hereafter punish such evil deeds. But, when I 
hastened to leave the sin-stained earth, I was forced 
to settle here and change my habitation, because the 
human race was so fertile in wickedness '^ ; I fled from 

95 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et, quantum terrent, tantum metuentia regna 

ac furias auri nee vilia praemia fraudum 600 

et super haec ritu horrificos ac more ferarum 

viventes rapto populos luxuque solutum 

omne decus multaque oppressum nocte pudorem. 

vis colitur, iurisque locum sibi vindioat ensis, 

et probris cessit virtus, en, aspice gentes ! 505 

nemo insons ; pacem servant commercia culpae. 

sed, si cura tua fundata ut moenia dextra 

dignum te servent memorando fine vigorem, 

dedita nee fessi tramittant corpora Poeno, 

quod solum nunc fata sinunt seriesque futuri, 610 

extendam leti decus atque in saecula mittam 

ipsaque laudatas ad manes prosequar umbras." 

Inde severa levi decurrens aethere virgo 
luctantem fatis petit inflammata Saguntum. 
invadit mentes et pectora nota pererrat 615 

immittitque animis numen ; turn, fusa medullis, 
implicat atque sui flagrantem inspirat amorem. 
arma volunt tentantque aegros ad proelia nisus. 
insperatus adest vigor, interiusque recursat 
dulcis honor divae et sacrum pro virgine letum. 620 
it tacitus fessis per ovantia pectora sensus, 
vel leto graviora pati saevasque ferarum 
attentare dapes et mensis addere crimen. 
96 



PUNICA, 11. 499-523 

wicked kings, who themselves fear as much as they 
are feared, and the frenzy for gold, and the rich 
rewards of wickedness. I fled also from nations hate- 
ful in their customs and living by violence like wild 
beasts, where all honour is undermined by luxury, 
and where shame is buried in deep darkness. Force 
is worshipped, and the sword usurps the place of 
justice, and virtue has given place to crime. Behold 
the nations ! no man is innocent ; fellowship in guilt 
alone preserves peace. But, if thou desirest the 
walls built by thy hand to keep a manhood worthy 
of thee by a noble ending, and not, worn out 
as they are, surrender themselves as prisoners 
to the Carthaginian, I will grant the only boon 
now allowed by fate and by the chain of coming 
events : I will prolong the renown of their death 
and send it down to posterity ; and I myself 
will follow their glorious spirits to the nether 
world." 

Then the austere goddess sped down the light ether 
and, burning with anger, made for Saguntum and 
found it struggling with doom. Taking possession 
of their minds and pervading their breasts, her 
familiar habitation, she instilled her divine power into 
their hearts. Then, piercing even to their marrow, 
she filled them with a burning passion for herself. 
They call for arms and put forth their feeble efforts in 
battle. Strength beyond their hopes is forthcoming ; 
to honour their loved goddess, and to die nobly in 
her defence — this purpose comes still closer to their 
hearts. An unspoken resolve fills the triumphant 
hearts of the sufferers — to endure things even worse 
than death, to imitate the diet of wild beasts, and 
make their meals an abomination. But stainless 

97 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sed prohibet culpa pollutam extendere lucem 

casta Fides paribusque famem compescere membris. 

Quam simul invisae gentis conspexit in arce, 526 
forte ferens sese Libycis Saturnia castris, 
virgineum increpitat miscentem bella furorem 
atque, ira turbata gradum, ciet ocius atram 
Tisiphonen, imos agitantem verbere manes, 530 

et palmas tendens : " hos," inquit, " Noctis alumna, 
hos muros impelle manu populumque ferocem 
dextris sterne suis ; luno iubet, ipsa propinqua 
efFectus studiumque tuum de nube videbo. 
ilia deos summumque lovem turbantia tela, 535 

quis Acheronta moves, flammam immanesque chely- 

dros 
stridoremque tuum, quo territa comprimit ora 
Cerberus, ac, mixto quae spumant felle, venena 
et quicquid scelerum, poenarum quicquid et irae 
pectore fecundo coquitur tibi, congere praeceps 540 
in Rutulos totamque Erebo demitte Saguntum. 
hac mercede Fides constet delapsa per auras." 

Sic voce instimulans dextra dea concita saevam 
Eumenida incussit muris ; tremuitque repente 
mons circum, et gravior sonuit per litora fluctus. 545 
sibilat insurgens capiti et turgentia circa 
multus colla micat squalenti tergore serpens. 
Mors graditur, vasto cava pandens guttura rictu, 
casuroque inhiat populo : tunc Luctus et atri 

" They were willing to prolong their lives by cannibalism ; 
but Loyalty forbade this. ^ Juno. 

* The Furies, called Eumenides by the Greeks, were three 
in number. Their names were Alecto, Megaera, and Tisi- 
phone. They lived in Hades, where they tormented the 
wicked spirits ; and they could also appear on earth, where 
they invariably spread terror and madness. 

<* The hound of Hades had three mouths. 



PUNICA, II. 524-549 

Loyalty forbids them to prolong a life defiled by 
crime, and to stay their hunger with the flesh of 
fellow-creatures." 

It chanced that Saturn's daughter ^ was repairing 
to the Carthaginian camp ; and, soon as she saw the 
maiden. Loyalty, in the citadel of the hated people, 
she rebuked her eagerness to stir up war, and, 
stumbling in her rage, summoned at once dark Tisi- 
phone '^ who drives with her scourge the spirits in the 
depths of hell. Stretching out her hands she said : 
" Daughter of Night, use your power to overthrow 
yonder walls, and lay the proud people low by their 
own hands. This is Juno's bidding ; I myself shall keep 
near and watch from a cloud your handiwork and your 
zeal. Take up the weapons that confound the gods 
and even supreme Jupiter, and that make Acheron 
tremble — flame and hideous serpents and that hissing 
which belongs to you alone and makes Cerberus shut 
his mouths ^ for fear ; take frothing venom mixed 
with gall ; take all the crime and punishment and 
wrath that are nursed in your teeming breast, and 
heap them headlong upon the Rutulians,^ and send 
all Saguntum down to Erebus. Let this be the price 
they pay for Loyalty's descent from heaven." 

With these words the angry goddess spurred on 
the ruthless Fury, and hurled her with her own hand 
against the walls ; and suddenly the mountain shook 
all round, and the waves along the shore made a 
deeper sound. Upon the Fury's head and round her 
swollen neck a brood of scaly-backed serpents glit- 
tered and hissed. Opening wide his hollow jaws. 
Death stalked abroad and gaped for the doomed 
citizens ; and round him stood Mourning and Wailing 
• Saguntines. 

99 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

pectora circumstant Planctus Maerorque Dolorque, 

tque omnes adsunt Poenae, formaque trifauci 55i 
personat insomnis lacrimosae lanitor aulae. 
protinus assimulat faciem mutabile monstrum 
Tiburnae gressumque simul sonitumque loquentis. 
haec bello vacuos et saevi turbine Martis 555 

lugebat thalamos, Murro spoliata marito ; 
clara genus Daunique trahens a sanguine nomen. 
cui vultus induta pares disiectaque crinem 
Eumenis in medios irrumpit turbida coetus 
et maestas lacerata genas, " quis terminus ? " in- 
quit, 560 
** sat Fidei proavisque datum ! vidi ipsa cruentum, 
ipsa meum vidi lacerato vulnere nostras 
terrentem Murrum noctes et dira sonantem : 
eripe te, coniux, miserandae casibus urbis 
et fuge, si terras adimit victoria Poeni, 565 
ad manes, Tiburna, meos ; cecidere penates, 
occidimus Rutuli, tenet omnia Punicus ensis. 
mens horret, nee adhue oculis absistit imago, 
nullane iam posthac tua tecta, Sagunte, videbo ? 
felix, Murre, neeis patriaque superstite felix. 570 
at nos, Sidoniis famulatum matribus actas, 
post belli casus vastique pericula ponti 
Carthago aspiciet victrix ; tandemque suprema 
nocte obita, Libyae gremio captiva iacebo. 
sed vos, o iuvenes, vetuit quos conscia virtus 575 
posse capi, quis telum ingens contra aspera mors est, 
vestris servitio manibus subducite matres. 

" These are often identified with the Furies. 

^ Cerberus. 

'^ See i. 376 foil. 

^ Her name, Tiburna, suggests that her ancestors came 
rom Tibur, the city in Latium. 
100 



PUNICA, II. 550-577 

with blackened breast and Grief and Pain ; and all the 
Avengers ^ were there ; and the sleepless guardian ^ 
of the dismal dwelling bayed from his triple throat. 
At once the Fiend changed her shape and took the 
likeness of Tiburna and her gait withal and the 
sound of her voice. Tiburna, robbed of her husband, 
Murrus,^ was mourning for her marriage-bed made 
empty by war and the fierce blast of battle ; she was 
of noble birth and derived her name from the blood 
of Daunus.^ The Fury assumed her likeness and 
then, with hair dishevelled and cheeks torn in sign of 
mourning, rushed wildly into the midst of the crowd. 
" How long ? " she cried. " We have done enough 
for the sake of Loyalty and our forefathers ; my own 
eyes have seen the bleeding form of my loved Murrus, 
have seen him startling my nights with his mangled 
body, and speaking fearful words ; ' Save yourself, 
dear wife, from the calamities of this hapless city ; 
and, if the victory of the Carthaginian leaves no land 
for refuge, seek safety, Tiburna, with my ghost. Our 
gods are overthrown, we Rutulians are undone, the 
Punic sword is master of all.' My heart quakes with 
fear, and his ghost is still before my eyes. Shall I 
then see the dwellings of Saguntum vanish utterly ? 
Fortunate Murrus, to die and leave his country still 
alive ! But as for us — we shall be carried off to wait 
on the women of Carthage ; and, after the calamities 
of war and the dangers of the great deep, victorious 
Carthage will behold us ; and at last, when the final 
darkness of death comes, I shall be laid a captive in 
the lap of Libya. But you, young men, whose con- 
scious valour has denied that you can ever be taken 
captive, you who have in death a mighty weapon 
against misfortune, rescue your mothers from slavery 

101 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ardua virtutem profert via. pergite primi 

nee facilem populis nee notam invadere laudem.** 

His ubi turbatas hortatibus impulit aures, 580 

inde petit tumulum, summo quern vertice mentis 
Amphitryoniades speetandum ex aequore nautis 
struxerat et grato cineres deeorarat honore. 
exeitus sede, horrendum ! prorumpit ab ima 
eaeruleus maeulis auro squalentibus anguis ; 585 

ignea sanguinea radiabant lumina flamma, 
oraque vibranti stridebant sibila lingua ; 
isque inter trepidos coetus mediamque per urbem 
volvitur et muris propere delabitur altis 
ac similis profugo vieina ad litora tendit 590 

spumantisque freti praeeeps immergitur undis. 

Turn vero exeussae mentes, ceu prodita teeta 
expulsi fugiant manes, umbraeque recusent 
eaptivo iaeuisse solo, sperare saluti 
pertaesum, damnantque eibos, agit abdita Erinnys. 
haud gravior duris divum inclementia rebus. 596 

quam leti proferre moras ; abrumpere vitam 
oeius attoniti quaerunt lucemque gravantur. 
certatim struetus surrectae molis ad astra 
in media stetit urbe rogus ; portantque trahuntque 
longae paeis opes quaesitaque praemia dextris, 601 
Callaieo vestes distinetas matribus auro 
armaque Dulichia proavis portata Zaeyntho 
et prisca adveetos Rutulorum ex urbe penates ; 

** Hercules. 

* Zacynthus : see i. 276 foil. 

" So the spirit of Anchises appeared to Aeneas in the form 
of a serpent {Aen. v. 84 foil.). 

^ This snake might be supposed to be the soul of Zacynthus 
who was buried on the top of the hill. 

^ See note to i. 379. 
102 



PUNICA, IT. 578-604 

with your swords. Steep is the path that makes virtue 
seen. Hasten to be the first to snatch a glory that 
few can attain to, a glory unknown till now ! " 

When she had stirred up her hearers' troubled 
minds with this appeal, next she sought the mound 
which Amphitryon's son** had built on the topmost 
peak of the mountain, as a sea-mark for sailors and 
a welcome tribute of honour to the dead.^ Then — 
dreadful to behold — a snake burst forth at her sum- 
mons from its abode in the depths of the mound ; its 
body was dark-green and rough with spots of gold ; 
its fiery eyes glittered with blood-red flame ; and the 
mouth with its flickering tongue made a loud hissing. 
Between the terrified groups its coils moved on 
through the centre of the city, and swiftly it glided 
down from the high walls ; then, as if escaping, 
it made its way to the shore near the town, and 
plunged headlong into the waves of the foaming sea." 

Then indeed men's reason tottered : it seemed that 
the dead were fleeing forth from abodes no longer 
safe, and that their ghosts refused to lie in con- 
quered soil.*^ They were sick with disappointed hope 
of deliverance ; they refused food ; the disguised 
Fury possessed them. To postpone the date of death 
is as grievous as Heaven's refusal to pity their suffer- 
ing ; in their frenzy they find existence a burden and 
long to snap the thread of life instantly. Built by 
many hands, a pyre whose height rose to heaven was 
erected in the centre of the city. Hither they 
dragged or carried the wealth of a long peace, the 
prizes won by valour, robes embroidered with Gal- 
lician gold by their matrons, weapons brought by 
their ancestors from Dulichian^ Zacynthus, and the 
household gods that came across the sea from the 

103 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

hue, quicquid superest captis, clipeosque simulque 605 
infaustos iaciunt enses et condita bello 
effodiunt penitus terrae gaudentque superbi 
victoris praedam flammis donare supremis. 

Quae postquam congesta videt feralis Erinnys, 
lampada flammiferis tinctam Phlegethontis in undis 
quassat et inferna superos caligine condit. 611 

inde opus aggressi, toto quod nobile mundo 
aeternum invictis infelix gloria servat. 
princeps Tisiphone, lentum indignata parentem, 
pressit ovans capulum cunctantemque impulit ensem 
et dirum insonuit Stygio bis terque flagello. 616 

invitas maculant cognato sanguine dextras 
miranturque nefas aversa mente peractum 
et facto sceleri illacrimant. hie, turbidus ira 
et rabie eladum perpessaeque ultima vitae, 620 

obliquos versat materna per ubera visus ; 
hie, raptam librans dileetae in eolla seeurim 
eoniugis, inerepitat sese mediumque furorem 
proieeta damnat stupef actus membra bipenni. 
nee tamen evasisse datur ; nam verbera Erinnys 625 
ineutit atque atros insibilat ore tumores. 
sic thalami fugit omnis amor, duleesque marito 
effluxere tori, et subiere oblivia taedae. 
ille iaeit, totis connisus viribus, aegrum 
in flammas corpus, densum qua turbine nigro 630 
exundat fumum piceus caligine vertex. 

<» Ardea. 

^ One of the rivers in Hades, a river not of water but of 
fire. The other three rivers, often mentioned in Silius, are 
Acheron, Cocytus, and Styx. 

" The father is trying to kill his own child. 

^ He intends to kill his mother but finds it impossible to 
look straight at her. 
104 



PUNICA, II. 605-631 

ancient city of the Rutulians." They throw on the 
pile all that the conquered still possess, and their 
shields too and swords that could not save ; and they 
dig up from the bowels of the earth hoards buried 
in time of war, and with joy and pride consign the 
conqueror's booty to the all-devouring flames. 

When the fatal Fury saw this pile, she brandished 
the torch that w^as dipped in the fiery waves of Phlege- 
thon ^ ; and she hid the gods above with the darkness 
of Hell. Then the people, ever unconquered, began 
a work, which glory in defeat keeps famous for ever 
throughout the world. First Tisiphone, resenting a 
father's ^ half-hearted stroke, pushed the hilt forward 
in triumph and drove in the reluctant sword, and 
cracked her hellish scourge again and again with 
hideous noise. Against their will men stain their 
hands with kindred blood ; they marvel at the crime 
they have committed with loathing, and weep over 
the wickedness they have wrought. One man, dis- 
traught with rage and the madness of disaster and 
extreme suffering, turns a sidelong glance** at the 
breast of his mother. Another, snatching an axe and 
aiming it at the neck of his loved wife, reproaches 
himself and curses his unfinished crime, and, as if 
paralysed, throws his weapon down. Yet he is not 
suffered to escape ; for the Fury repeats her blows, 
and breathes black passion into him with her hissing 
mouth. Thus there is an end of all wedded love : 
the husband has forgotten the joys of his marriage- 
bed, and remembers his bride no more. Another, 
' exerting all his strength, throws a suffering body 
into the flames where the crest of the dark- 
rolling fire sends up thick smoke and pitchy black- 
ness. 

105 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

At medios inter coetus pietate sinistra, 
infelix Tymbrene, furis, Poenoqiie parentis 
dum properas auferre neeem, reddentia formam 
ora tuam laceras temerasque simillima membra. 635 
vos etiam primo gemini cecidistis in aevo, 
Eurymedon fratrem et fratrem mentite Lycorma, 
cuncta pares ; dulcisque labor sua nomina natis 
reddere et in vultu genetrici stare suorum. 
iam fixus iugulo culpa te solverat ensis, 640 

Eurymedon, inter miserae lamenta senectae, 
dumque malis turbata parens deceptaque visis 
*' quo ruis ? hue ferrum," clamat, " converte, 

Lycorma," 
ecce simul iugulum perfoderat ense Lycormas. 
sed magno, " quinam, Eurymedon, furor iste ? " 
sonabat 645 

cum planctu, geminaeque nota decepta figurae, 
funera mutato revocabat nomine mater, 
donee, transacto tremebunda per ubera ferro, 
tunc etiam ambiguos cecidit super inscia natos. 

Quis diros urbis casus laudandaque monstra 650 
et Fidei poenas ac tristia fata piorum 
imperet evolvens lacrimis ? vix Punica fletu 
cessassent castra ac miserescere nescius hostis. 
urbs, habitata diu Fidei caeloque parentem 
murorum repetens, ruit inter perfida gentis 655 

Sidoniae tela atque immania facta suorum, 
iniustis neglecta deis ; furit ensis et ignis, 



<• By suicide he escaped the guilt of matricide, and was 
Innocent, compared with Tymbrenus who had killed his own 
father. 

106 



PUNICA, II. 632-657 

Again, in the midst of the crowd, ill-starred Tym- 
brenus, distraught with love assuming strange dis- 
guise, and eager to rob the Carthaginian of his father's 
death, mutilates the features that resemble his own, 
and desecrates a body that is the image of himself. 
Twin brethren also, alike in every point, Eurymedon 
and Lycormas, each an exact likeness of the other, 
were slain there in their prime. To their mother it 
had been a sweet perplexity to name her sons aright, 
and to be uncertain of her own children's features. 
The sword that pierced the throat of Eurymedon, 
while the poor old mother lamented, had already 
cleared him of guilt " ; and while she, distraught with 
sorrow and mistaking whom she saw, cried out, 
" What mean you, madman ? Turn your sword 
against me, Lycormas," lo ! Lycormas had already 
stabbed himself in the throat. But she cried aloud : 
** Eurymedon, what madness is this ? " — and the 
mother, misled by the likeness of the twins, called 
back her dead sons by wrong names ; at last, driving 
the steel through her own quivering breast, she sank 
down over the sons whom even then she could not 
distinguish. 

Who could command his tears when recounting 
the dreadful fate of the city, the crimes that deserve 
praise, the penalty paid by Loyalty, and the piteous 
doom of pious souls } Even the Punic army, enemies 
incapable of pity, could scarce have refrained from 
weeping. A city, that was long the abode of Loyalty 
and that claimed a god as the founder of her walls, 
is falling now, disregarded by the injustice of Heaven, 
amid the treacherous warfare of Carthaginians and 
horrors committed by her own citizens ; fire and 
sword run riot, and any spot that is not burning is 

107 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

quique caret flarnma, scelerum est locus, erigit atro 
nigrantem funio rogus alta ad sidera nubem. 
ardet in excelso proceri vertice montis 660 

arx, intacta prius bellis (hinc Punica castra 
litoraque et totam soliti spectare Saguntum) 
ardent tecta deum ; resplendet imagine flammae 
aequor, et in tremulo vibrant incendia ponto. 

Ecce inter medios caedum Tiburna furores, 665 
fulgenti dextram mucrone armata mariti 
et laeva infelix ardentem lampada quassans 
squalentemque erecta comam ac liventia planctu 
pectora nudatis ostendens saeva lacertis, 
ad tumulum Murri super ipsa cadavera fertur. 670 
qualis, ubi inferni dirum tonat aula parentis, 
iraque turbatos exercet regia manes, 
Alecto solium ante dei sedemque tremendam 
Tartareo est operata lovi poenasque ministrat. 
arma viri, multo nuper defensa cruore, 675 

imponit tumulo illacrimans ; manesque precata, 
acciperent sese, flagrantem lampada subdit. 
tunc rapiens letum : " tibi ego haec," ait, ** op time 

coniux, 
ad manes, en, ipsa fero." sic ense recepto 
arma super ruit et flammas invadit hiatu. 680 

Semiambusta iacet nullo discrimine passim 
infelix obitus, permixto funere, turba. 
ceu, stimulante fame, cum victor ovilia tandem 
faucibus invasit siccis leo, mandit hianti 
ore fremens imbelle pecus, patuloque redundat 685 



" These are names for Pluto, or Dis, the Ruler of Hades. 
For Alecto, see note to 1. 530. 
108 



PUNICA, II. 658-685 

IBl scene of crime. The pyre sends up aloft a sable 
' cloud of black smoke. On the high top of the lofty 
mountain the citadel that former wars had spared 
I is blazing — from this point the citizens were wont to 
see the Punic camp and the shore and the whole of 
Saguntum, — the temples of the gods are blazing. 
The sea is lit up by the reflection of the fire, and the 
conflagration quivers on the restless water. 

Lo ! in the midst of madness and murder, unhappy 
Tiburna was seen. Her right hand was armed with 
her husband's bright sword, and in her left she brand- 
ished a burning torch ; her disordered hair stood 
on end, her shoulders were bare, and she displayed 
a breast discoloured by cruel blows. She hurried 
right over the corpses to the tomb of Murrus. Such 
seems Alecto, when the palace of the Infernal 
Father ^ thunders doom, and the monarch's wrath 
troubles and vexes the dead ; then the Fury, standing 
before the throne and terrible seat of the god, does 
service to the Jupiter of Tartarus "• and deals out 
punishments. Her husband's armour, lately rescued 
with much bloodshed, she placed on the mound with 
tears ; then she prayed to the dead to welcome her, 
and applied her burning torch to the pile. Then, 
rushing upon death, " Best of husbands," she cried, 
" see, I myself carry this weapon to you in the shades." 
And so she stabbed herself and fell down over the 
armour, meeting the fire with open mouth. 

Unhappy in their death, half-consumed by the fire, 
without distinction or order, the bodies of the people 
lay pell-mell, one upon another. Even so, when a 
lion, driven by hunger, has at last prevailed and 
stormed the sheepfold with parched gorge, he roars 
with gaping jaws and devours the helpless sheep, and 
VOL. I E 109 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

gutture ructatus large cruor ; incubat atris 
semesae stragis cumulis, aut, murmure anhelo 
infrendens, laceros inter spatiatur acervos. 
late fusa iacent pecudes custosque Molossus 
pastorumque cohors stabulique gregisque magister, 
totaque vastatis disiecta mapalia tectis. 691 

irrumpunt vacuam Poeni tot cladibus arcem. 
turn demum ad manes, perfecto munere, Erinnys 
lunoni laudata redit magnamque superba 
exultat rapiens secum sub Tartara turbam. 695 

At vos, sidereae, quas nulla aequaverit aetas, 
ite, decus terrarum, animae, venerabile vulgus, 
Elysium et castas sedes decorate piorum. 
cui vero non aequa dedit victoria nomen' 
(audite, o gentes, neu rumpite foedera pacis 700 

nee regnis postferte fidem) vagus exul in orbe 
errabit toto, patriis proiectus ab oris, 
tergaque vertentem trepidans Carthago videbit. 
saepe Saguntinis somnos exterritus umbris 
optabit cecidisse manu ; ferroque negato, 705 

invictus quondam Stygias bellator ad undas 
deformata feret liventi membra veneno. 

«• At the battle of Zama (202 b.c.) Hannibal was utterly 
defeated by Scipio. 

* Hannibal, fearing to be given up to the Romans, escaped 
from Africa in 193 b.c. and went from place to place — 
Tyre, Ephesus, Crete, Bithynia. It was in Bithynia that he 
swallowed poison which he carried in a ring. The year of 
his death is uncertain ; but it was probably 182 b.c. 



110 



I 



PUNICA, II. 686-707 



streams of blood are vomited forth from his vast 
gape ; he couches down on dark heaps of victims half- 
devoured, or, gnashing his teeth with panting and 
roaring, stalks between the piles of mangled carcasses. 
Around him in confusion lie the sheep with the 
Molossian dog that guarded them, and the band of 
shepherds with the owner of the flock and fold ; and 
their huts are utterly destroyed and their dwellings 
demolished. The Carthaginians rushed into the 
citadel which so many disasters had left undefended. 
And then at last the Fiend, her duty done, returned, 
with thanks from Juno, to the nether world, proud 
and triumphant that she carried with her to Tartarus 
a multitude of victims. 

But you, ye star-like souls, whom no succeeding age 
shall ever match — go, glory of the earth, a worship- 
ful company, and adorn Elysium and the pure abodes 
of the righteous. Whereas he, who gained glory 
by an unjust victory — hear it, ye nations, and break 
not treaties of peace nor set power above loyalty ! — 
banished from his native land he shall wander, an 
exile, over the whole earth ; and terrified Carthage 
shall see him in full retreat.'* Often, startled in his 
sleep by the ghosts of Saguntum, he shall wish that he 
had fallen by his own hand ; but the steel will be 
denied him, and the warrior once invincible in earlier 
years shall carry down to the waters of Styx a body 
disfigured and blackened by poison.* 



Ill 



LIBER TERTIUS 

ARGUMENT 

After the taking of Saguntum, Bostar is sent to Africa to 
consult Jupiter Ammon (1-13). Hannibal goes to GadeSj 
where he is shown the famous temple of Hercules and marvels 
at the tides of the Atlantic (14-60). He sends his wife, 
Himilce, and his infant son to Carthage (61-157). He 
dreams of the coming campaign (158-213). He sets off : 
a catalogue of his forces (214-405). He crosses the Pyrenees 

Postquam rupta fides Tyriis, et moenia castae, 
non aequo superum genitore, eversa Sagunti, 
extemplo positos finiti cardine miindi 
victor adit populos cognataqiie limina Gades. 
nee vatum mentes agitare et praescia corda 6 

cessatum super imperio. citus aequore Bostar 
vela dare et rerum praenoscere fata iubetur. 
prisca fides adytis longo servatur ab aevo, 
qua sublime sedens, Cirrhaeis aemulus antris, 
inter anhelantes Garamantas corniger Hammon 10 
fatidico pandit venientia saecula luco. 
hinc omen coeptis et casus scire futuros 
ante diem bellique vices novisse petebat. 
Exin clavigeri veneratus numinis aras 

<• A common description of Spain. 

^ Gades (now Cadiz) was a colony from Tyre and the 
chief Phoenician settlement outside the Mediterranean. 

" For Jupiter Ammon see note to i. 415. 
112 



BOOK III 

ARGUMENT {continued) 

(406-441). He crosses the Rhone and the Durance (442-476). 
Tlie Alps are described (477-499). After frightful hardships 
he pitches a camp on the summit of the mountains (500-556). 
Venus and Jupiter converse concerning the destiny of Rome 
(557-629). Hannibal encamps in the country of the Taurini 
(630-646). Bostar brings back from Africa the response 
of Jupiter Ammon (647-714). 

After the Carthaginians had broken faith, and the 
walls of faithful Saguntum, frowned on by the Father 
of Heaven, had been overthrown, the conqueror at 
once visited the peoples who dwell at the limit where 
the world ends,** and Gades,^ the home of a race 
akin to Carthage. Nor did he omit to consult the 
wisdom and foresight of prophets concerning the 
struggle for power. Bostar was ordered to set sail 
at once and to inquire into the future before it came. 
From early times men have always trusted the shrine 
where horned Ammon^ sits on high, a rival of the 
Delphian'^ caves, and reveals future ages in his pro- 
phetic grove among the thirsty Garamantes. From 
there Hannibal sought a good omen for his enterprise ; 
he sought to know coming events before their date 
and to learn the changing fortunes of the war. 
Thereafter he worshipped at the altars of the god 
«* See note to 1. 98. 

113 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

captivis onerat donis, quae nuper ab arce 15 

victor fumantis rapuit semusta Sagunti. 
vulgatum, nee cassa fides, ab origine fani 
impositas durare trabes solasque per aevum 
condentum novisse manus. hinc credere gaiident 
consedisse deum seniumque repellere templis. 20 

turn, quis fas et honos adyti penetralia nosse, 
femineos prohibent gressus ac limine curant 
saetigeros arcere sues ; nee discolor ulli 
ante aras cultus ; velantur corpora lino, 
et Pelusiaco praefulget stamine vertex. 25 

discinctis mos tura dare atque e lege parentum 
sacrificam lato vestem distinguere clavo. 
pes nudus tonsaeque comae castumque cubile ; 
irrestincta focis servant altaria flammae. 
sed nulla effigies simulacrave nota deorum 30 

maiestate locum et sacro implevere timore. 
In foribus labor Alcidae : Lernaea recisis 
anguibus hydra iacet, nexuque elisa leonis 
ora Cleonaei patulo caelantur hiatu. 
at Stygius, saevis terrens latratibus umbras, 35 

ianitor, aeterno tum primum tractus ab antro, 
vincla indignatur, metuitque Megaera catenas, 
iuxta Thraces equi pestisque Erymanthia et altos 

<• The temple of Hercules at or near Gades was very 
ancient, greatly venerated, and immensely wealthy. The 
timber that never decayed is mentioned by other writers. 
Silius gives more details about the ritual than any other 
extant author. 

* The priests are meant. 

« Pelusium is a district near one mouth of the Nile. 

<* Cleonae was a little town near Nemea. 

« Cerberus, whom Hercules chained and brought up from 
Hades. 
114 



PUNICA, III. 16-38 

who bears the club," and loaded them with offerings 
lately snatched by the conqueror from the fire and 
smoke of the citadel of Saguntum. Men said — 
and it was no idle tale — that the timber, of which 
the temple was built at first, never decayed, and for 
ages never felt the handiwork of any others than the 
first builders. Hence men take pleasure in the belief 
that the god has taken up his abode there and defends 
his temple from decay. Further, those who are per- 
mitted and privileged to have access to the inner 
shrine ^ forbid the approach of women, and are careful 
to keep bristly swine away from the threshold. The 
dress worn before the altars is the same for all : linen 
covers their limbs, and their foreheads are adorned 
with a head-band of Pelusian^ flax. It is their 
custom to offer incense with robes ungirt ; and, 
following their fathers' rule, they adorn the garment 
of sacrifice with a broad stripe. Their feet are bare 
and their heads shaven, and their bed admits no 
partner ; the fires on the hearth-stones keep the 
altars alight perpetually. But no statues or familiar 
images of the gods filled the place with solemnity and 
sacred awe. 

The doors displayed the Labours of Hercules. The 
Hy dra of Lerna lay there with her snakes lopped off, 
and the strangled head of the Nemean'* lion was 
carved there with jaws agape. There too the door- 
keeper of the Styx,* who terrifies the dead by his 
savage barking, raged at his bonds, when dragged for 
the first time from his everlasting cavern ; and 
Megaera stood by, fearing to be fettered too. Near 
by were the Thracian horses,^ and the bane of Ery- 

^ The horses which Diomede, king of Thrace, fed on 
human flesh. 

115 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

aeripedis ramos superantia cornua cervi. 
nee levior vinci Libycae telluris alumnus 40 

matre super stratique genus deforme bimembres 
Centauri frontemque minor nune amnis Acarnan. 
inter quae fulget sacratis ignibus Oete, 
ingentemque animam rapiunt ad sidera flammae. 

Postquam oculos varia implevit virtutis imago, 45 
mira dehinc cernit : surgentis mole profundi 
iniectum terris subitum mare nullaque circa 
litora et infuso stagnantes aequore campos. 
nam qua caeruleis Nereus evolvitur antris 
atque imo freta contorquet Neptunia fundo, 50 

proruptum exundat pelagus, caecosque relaxans 
Oceanus fontes torrentibus ingruit undis. 
tum vada, ceu saevo penitus permota tridenti, 
luctantur terris tumef actum imponere pontum. 
mox remeat gurges tractoque relabitur aestu, 55 

ac ratis erepto campis deserta profundo, 
et fusi transtris expectant aequora nautae. 
Cymothoes ea regna vagae pelagique labores 
Luna movet, Luna, immissis per caerula bigis, 
fertque refertque fretum, sequiturque reciproca 
Tethys. 60 

Haec propere spectata duci ; nam multa fatigant. 
curarum prima exercet, subducere bello 

<* A wild boar that laid waste Erymanthus in Arcadia. 

'' A stag (or hind) sacred to Diana, which Hercules hunted 
for a whole year in Arcadia. 

" Antaeus, who gained fresh strength every time that he 
touched his mother, Earth. 

^ The Achelous, which lost a horn in contest with Hercules. 
When ancient rivers are personified, they generally have a 
bull's head and horns. 

^ The mountain in Thrace on which Hercules was 
cremated. 

116 



PUNICA, III. 39-62 

manthus,** and the antlers of the brazen-footed stag " 
that rose above tall trees. And the child of the 
Libyan land, no easy conquest when he stood upon 
his mother,*' lay low, and low lay the ungainly race of 
Centaurs, half men and half horses, and the river of 
Acarnania,*^ now robbed of one horn. Amid these 
figures Oeta * shines with sacred fires, and the flames 
carry the hero's soul up to Heaven. 

When Hannibal's eyes were sated with the picture 
of all that valour, he saw next a marvellous sight ^ — 
the sea suddenly fiung upon the land with the mass 
of the rising deep, and no encircling shores, and the 
fields inundated by the invading waters. For, where 
Nereus rolls forth from his blue caverns and churns up 
the waters of Neptune from the bottom, the sea 
rushes forward in flood, and Ocean, opening his hidden 
springs, rushes on with furious waves. Then the 
water, as if stirred to the depths by the fierce trident,^ 
strives to cover the land with the swollen sea. But 
soon the water turns and glides back with ebbing 
tide ; and then the ships, robbed of the sea, are 
stranded, and the sailors, lying on their benches, 
await the waters' return. It is the Moon that stirs 
this realm of wandering Cymothoe ^ and troubles the 
deep ; the Moon, driving her chariot through the 
sky, draws the sea this way and that, and Tethys * 
follows with ebb and flow. 

Hannibal viewed these things in haste ; for he had 
much to trouble him. His first anxiety was to remove 

' To the Greeks and ancient Ron ans, accustomed only 
to the Mediterranean, the tides of the Atlantic Ocean, visible 
at Gades, were a marvellous sight. 

" The trident is the sceptre with which Neptune rules the 
sea. '^ One of the Nereids, or sea-nymphs. 

* The wife of Oceanus and mother of the sea-nymphs. 
VOL.1 e2 117 



I 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

consortem thalami parvumque sub ubere natum. 

virgineis iuvenem taedis primoque Hymenaeo 

imbuerat coniux memorique tenebat amore. 65 

at puer, obsessae generatus in ore Sagunti, 

bissenos lunae nondum compleverat orbes. 

quos ut seponi stetit et secernere ab armis, 

affatur ductor : " spes o Carthaginis altae, 

nate, nee Aeneadum levior metus, amplior, oro, 70 

sis patrio decore et factis tibi nomina condas, 

quis superes bellator avum ; iamque aegra timoris 

Roma tuos numerat lacrimandos matribus annos. 

ni praesaga meos ludunt praecordia sensus, 

ingens hie terris ereseit labor ; ora parentis 75 

agnosco torvaque oeulos sub fronte minaees 

vagitumque gravem atque irarum elementa mearum. 

si quis forte deum tantos ineiderit actus 

et nostro abrumpat leto primordia rerum, 

hoc pignus belli, coniux, servare labora. 80 

cumque datum fari, due per cunabula nostra ; 

tangat Elissaeas palmis puerilibus aras 

et cineri iuret patrio Laurentia bella. 

inde ubi flore novo pubescet firmior aetas, 

emicet in Martem et, calcato foedere, victor 85 

in Capitolina tumulum mihi vindicet arce. 

tu vero, tanti felix quam gloria partus 

expectat, veneranda fide, discede periclis 

incerti Martis durosque reUnque labores. 



' This tomb must have been a cenotaph. 
118 



PUNICA, III. 63-89 

from war the sharer of his bed and their Httle son, an 
infant at his mother's breast. She was a maiden and 
he a youth, when they first were wedded ; and she 
clung to him with a love full of memories. But the 
child, born in front of besieged Saguntum, had not 
yet completed twelve circuits of the moon. When 
he had resolved to send off mother and child and 
remove them from the army, Hannibal addressed 
them thus : " O my son, hope of high Carthage, and 
dread, no less, of the Aeneadae, may you, I pray, be 
more glorious than your father and make a name for 
yourself by works of war which shall surpass your 
grandsire's. Rome, sick with fear, already reckons 
up your years — years that shall make mothers weep. 
If my prophetic soul does not deceive my feehng, 
vast suffering for the world is growing up in you ; I 
recognize my father's countenance, and the defiant 
eyes beneath a frowning brow ; I note the depth of 
your infant cries and the beginnings of a fierceness 
like my own. If haply some god shall check my 
great career and nip my glory in the bud by death, 
then be it your task, my wife, to keep safe this pledge 
of war. And, when he is able to speak, lead him 
through the scenes of my childhood : let him lay his 
baby hands on the altar of Elissa, and vow to his 
father's ashes that he will fight against Rome. Then, 
when his riper age shall put on the down of youth, let 
him rush forth to war, treading the treaty under 
foot ; and let him, when victorious, demand a tomb" 
for me upon the Capitoline hill. But you, whose love 
deserves my worship, you who can look forward to 
the glory and happiness of so mighty a son, depart 
from the dangers and uncertainty of war, and turn 
away from hardship. We men must face heights 

119 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nos clausae nivibus rupes suppostaque caelo 90 

saxa manent ; nos Alcidae, mirante noverca, 
sudatus labor et, bellis labor acrior, Alpes. 
quod si promissum vertat Fortuna favorem 
laevaque sit coeptis, te longa stare senecta 
aevumque extendisse velim ; tua iustior aetas, 95 
ultra me improperae ducant cui fila sorores." 
Sic ille. at contra Cirrhaei sanguis Imilce 
Cast alii, cui materno de nomine dicta 
Castulo Phoebei servat cognomina vatis, 
atque ex sacrata repetebat stirpe parentes ; 100 

tempore quo Bacchus populos domitabat Hiberos, 
concutiens thyrso atque armata Maenade Calpen, 
lascivo genitus Satyro nymphaque Myrice, 
Milichus indigenis late regnabat in oris, 
cornigeram attollens genitoris imagine frontem. 105 
hinc patriam clarumque genus refer ebat Imilce, 
barbarica paulum vitiato nomine lingua, 
quae tunc sic lacrimis sensim manantibus infit : 
" mene, oblite tua nostram pendere salutem, 
abnuis inceptis comitem ? sic foedera nota 110 

primitiaeque tori, gelidos ut scandere tecum 
deficiam montes coniux tua ? crede vigori 
femineo ; castum baud superat labor uUus amorem. 
sin solo aspicimur sexu, fixumque relinqui, 
cedo equidem nee fata moror ; deus annuat, oro : 115 



" Juno. 

'' Hannibal's wife, Imilce, was a native of Castulo, a 
Spanish town on the Guadalquivir. Silius derives the name 
of the city from a man, Castalius, a native of Delphi. Castalia 
is the name of the spring near Delphi. Cirrha, the port of 
Delphi, is often identified with Delphi itself. 

120 



PUNICA, III. 90-115 

barred by snow, and crags that reach the sky ; we 
must face the labour that brought the sweat to the 
brow of Alcides and made his stepmother " marvel ; 
we must face the Alps, a sharper ordeal than war. 
But, if Fortune withhold her promised favour and 
frown on my enterprise, I should wish you long life 
and peaceful old age ; your youth deserves that the 
unhasting Fates should prolong your threads beyond 
my span." 

Thus he spoke, and Imilce answered him. She was 
descended from Castalius,^ a man of Cirrha, who 
named his city, Castulo, after his mother, and it still 
keeps the name of Apollo's priest. Thus Imilce 
traced her pedigree to a sacred stock. When 
Bacchus was conquering the Spanish peoples and 
attacking Calpe with the staves and spears of his 
Maenads, Milichus was born of a lustful Satyr and 
the nymph Myrice, and had held wide dominion in 
his native land ; and horns, like those of his father, 
grew upon his forehead." From him Imilce drew her 
nationality and noble blood ; but the name of Milichus 
had suffered a slight corruption in the native speech. 
Thus she then began with slowly dropping tears : 
** Do you forget that my life depends on yours ? Do 
you reject me as a partner of your enterprise ? Does 
our union, do our first nuptial joys, make you believe 
that I, your wife, would fall back when climbing with 
you the frozen mountains ? Doubt not a woman's 
hardihood ; no danger is too great for wedded love 
to face. But if you judge me by sex alone, and are 
determined to leave me, I yield indeed and will not 
stay the course of destiny. I pray God to bless you. 

* Satyrs were generally represented with horns and goats' 
feet : they escorted Bacchus on his journeys of conquest. 

121 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

i felix, i numinibus votisque secundis 
atque acies inter flagrantiaque arma relictae 
coniugis et nati curam servare memento, 
quippe nee Ausonios tantum nee tela nee ignes, 
quantum te, metuo ; ruis ipsos aeer in enses 120 

obiectasque caput telis ; nee te ulla secundo 
eventu satiat virtus, tibi gloria soli 
fine caret, credisque viris ignobile letum 
belligeris in pace mori. tremor implicat artus, 
nee quemquam horresco, qui se tibi eonferat unus. 
sed tu, bellorum genitor, miserere nefasque 126 

averte et serva caput inviolabile Teucris." 

lamque adeo egressi steterant in litore primo, 
et promota ratis, pendentibus arbore nautis, 
aptabat sensim pulsanti carbasa vento, 130 

cum, lenire metus properans aegramque levare 
attonitis mentem curis, sic Hannibal orsus : 
" ominibus parce et lacrimis, fidissima coniux. 
et pace et bello cunctis stat terminus aevi, 
extremumque diem primus tulit ; ire per ora 135 

nomen in aeternum paucis mens ignea donat, 
quos pater aetheriis caelestum destinat oris, 
an Romana iuga et famulas Carthaginis arces 
perpetiar ? stimulant manes noctisque per umbras 
increpitans genitor ; stant arae atque horrida sacra 
ante oculos, brevitasque vetat mutabilis horae 141 
prolatare diem, sedeamne, ut noverit una 
me tantum Carthago et, qui sim, nesciat omnis 

" Mars. 

* Here again the Romans are called Teucri, i.e. Trojans. 

« See i. 99 foil. 

122 



PUNICA, III. 116-143 

Go and prosper ! Go with favouring gods and prayers ! 
And amid the battles and the blaze of arms, remember 
to keep in mind the wife and child whom you leave 
behind. For I fear the Romans, with their weapons 
and their firebrands, less than I fear you : you rush 
fiercely right upon the swords, and expose your life 
to the missiles, nor does any successful feat of arms 
content you ; your ambition, unlike that of other 
men, knows no bounds ; and you think a peaceful 
death an inglorious end for a soldier. Trembling 
takes hold of my limbs ; and yet I dread no man 
who shall meet you in single combat. But thou, O 
Father of battles,'* have pity, and turn away evil 
from us, and preserve that life from all assaults of 
the Trojans ^ ! " 

And now they had gone forth and stood upon the 
shore-line. The ship, rowed forward, was slowly 
trimming her sails to the wind, and the sailors dangled 
from the mast, when Hannibal, eager to allay her 
fears and relieve her mind, sick with frantic anxieties, 
thus began : ** Have done with forebodings and with 
tears, my faithful wife. In war, as in peace, the end 
of each man's life is fixed, and the first day leads but 
to the last ; few there are whom a soul of fire permits 
to be for ever famous on the lips of men ; and such 
the Divine Father marks out to dwell in heaven. 
Shall I endure the yoke of Rome, and not resent the 
slavery of Carthage ? I am driven on by the spirit 
of my father that rebukes me in the darkness of 
night ; that altar and that dreadful sacrifice " stand 
clear before my sight ; and my brief and changeful 
span forbids me to defer the date. Am I to sit still, 
in order that Carthage alone may know my name ? 
And is all the world to be ignorant of my quality ? 

123 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

gens hominum? letique metu decora alta relinquam? 
quantum etenim distant a morte silentia vitae ! 14£ 
nee tamen incautos laudum exhorresce furores ; 
et nobis est lucis honos, gaudetque senecta 
gloria, cum longo titulis celebratur in aevo. 
te quoque magna manent suscepti praemia belli ; 
dent modo se superi, Thybris tibi serviet omnis 150 
Iliacaeque nurus et dives Dardanus auri." 
dumque ea permixtis inter se fletibus orant, 
confisus pelago celsa de puppe magister 
cunctantem ciet. abripitur divulsa marito. 
haerent intenti vultus et litora servant, 155 

donee, iter liquidum volucri rapiente carina, 
consumpsit visus pontus, tellusque recessit. 

At Poenus belli curis avertere amorem 
apparat et repetit properato moenia gressu. 
quae dum perlustrat crebroque obit omnia visu, 160 
tandem sollicito cessit vis dura labori, 
belligeramque datur somno componere mentem. 

Turn pater omnipotens, gentem exercere periclis 
Dardaniam et fama saevorum tollere ad astra 
bellorum meditans priscosque referre labores, 165 
praecipitat consulta viri segnemque quietem 
terret et immissa rumpit formidine somnos. 
iamque per humentem noctis Cyllenius umbram 
aligero lapsu portabat iussa parentis, 
nee mora : mulcentem securo membra sopore 170 
aggreditur iuvenem ac monitis incessit amaris : 
" turpe duci totam somno consumere noctem, 
o rector Libyae : vigili stant bella magistro. 

" See note to i. 14. 
* The siege of Troy. 

" Mercury, the messenger of the gods, was born on Cyllene, 
a mountain of Arcadia. 

124 



PUNICA, III. 144-173 

Am I, from fear of death, to abandon the heights of 
glory ? How Httle does an obscure hfe differ from 
death ! Yet fear not rashness in my ardour for 
renown : I too value life, and the hero finds pleasure 
in old age, when he is famed for great deeds in the 
autumn of life. You too may look for great rewards 
from the war now begun : if only Heaven favours us, 
all Tiber and the Roman women and the Dardans,° 
rich in gold, shall be at your feet." While they con- 
versed together thus and mingled their tears, the 
steersman, feeling that he could trust the sea, hailed 
the unwilling wife from his high seat on the stern. 
Torn from her husband's arms she is carried away. 
Her eager eyes still cling to him and watch the shore, 
until the sea made sight impossible and the land 
fell back, as the swift ship sped on its watery way. 

But Hannibal sought to drown his love in the 
business of war : he went back quickly to the walls 
of Gades ; and, while he went round them and sur- 
veyed every part again and again, the ceaseless toil 
proved too much at last for that strong heart, and he 
was able to rest his warlike mind in sleep. 

Then the Almighty Father, purposing to test the 
Roman people by peril, to raise their fame to heaven 
by victory in fierce warfare, and to repeat their 
ancient ordeal,^ urged on Hannibal's design by break- 
ing his peaceful rest and sending terrors to disturb 
his sleep. Quickly the god of Cyllene,*' flying through 
the dewy darkness of the'Hight, carried the message 
of his sire. At once he accosted Hannibal, where he 
lay at ease in untroubled sleep, and upbraided him 
with sharp reproof : " Ruler of Libya, it becomes not 
a leader to pass the whole night in slumber : war 
prospers when the commander wakes. You will see 

125 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

iam maria efFusas cernes turbare carinas 
et Latiam toto pubem volitare profundo, 175 

dum lentus coepti terra cunctaris Hibera. 
scilicet, id satis est decoris memorandaque virtus, 
quod tanto cecidit molimine Graia Saguntos ? 
en age, si quid inest animo par fortibus ausis, 
fer gressus agiles mecum et comitare vocantem ; 180 
respexisse veto (monet hoc pater ille deorum) ; 
victorem ante altae statuam te moenia Romae." 
lamque videbatur dextram iniectare graduque 
laetantem trahere in Saturnia regna citato, 
cum subitus circa fragor et vibrata per auras 185 

exterrent saevis a tergo sibila linguis ; 
ingentique metu divum praecepta paventi 
effluxere viro, et turbatus lumina flectit. 
ecce iugis rapiens silvas ac robora vasto 
contorta amplexu tractasque per invia rupes, 190 
ater letifero stridebat turbine serpens, 
quantus non aequas perlustrat flexibus Arctos, 
et geminum lapsu sidus circumligat Anguis, 
immani tantus fauces diducit hiatu 
attollensque caput nimbosis montibus aequat. 195 
congeminat sonitus rupti violentia caeli 
imbriferamque hiemem permixta grandine torquet. 
hoc trepidus monstro (neque enim sopor ille nee altae 
vis aderat noctis, virgaque fugante tenebras 
miscuerat lucem somno deus) ardua quae sit, 200 

scitatur pestis terrasque urgentia membra 
quo ferat et quosnam populos deposcat hiatu. 

«• The epithet implies that Greeks are not really formidable 
opponents — a view generally held by the Romans. 

'' Italy : see note to i. 70. 

* Mercury carried a magic wand, the caduceus, with which 
he could send mortals to sleep or wake them from sleep. 
126 



PUNICA, III. 174-202 

ships swarm forth ere long to plough the sea, and 
Roman warriors speeding all over the deep, while you, 
slow to begin, stand idle in the land of Spain. Is it 
glory enough for you, and a memorable feat of arms, 
to have overthrown Greek "■ Saguntum with so great 
an effort ? Arise ! and if aught in your heart is 
capable of bold action, then go quickly along with 
me and accompany my summons (I forbid you to 
look back : such is the command of Jupiter) and I 
will set you victorious before the lofty walls of 
Rome." 

And now he dreamed that Mercury laid a hand upon 
him and drew him in joy and haste to the land of 
Saturn,^ when he was startled by a sudden noise about 
him and a hissing of fierce tongues behind him that 
hurtled through the sky. Stricken with intense fear, 
he forgot the divine command, and looked behind 
him in his dismay. Behold ! a black serpent, sweep- 
ing along in its huge embrace woods, and forest-trees 
torn from the hills, and rocks dragged along a path- 
less track, was hissing with deadly blast. Huge as 
the Serpent which moves with its coils round the 
Great and Little Bear and encompasses both con- 
stellations in its course, so huge it parts its jaws with 
cavernous yawn, and raises its crest to the height of 
rain-swept mountains. And the fury of the bursting 
heavens redoubled the noise and discharged a storm 
of rain mixed with hail. Terrified by this portent 
(for his sleep was not real sleep, and the power of 
night was waning, because the god whose rod dispels 
darkness '^ had mingled night with day) Hannibal 
asked what this terrible monster was, and whither it 
was bearing that body which weighed down the 
earth, and what nations were demanded by its open 

127 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

cui gelidis almae Cyllenes editus antris : 

" bella vides optata tibi. te maxima bella, 

te strages nemorum, te moto turbida caelo 205 

tempestas caedesque virum magnaeque riiinae 

Idaei generis lacrimosaque fata secuntur. 

quantus per campos populatis montibus actas 

contorquet silvas squalenti tergore serpens 

et late humect at terras spumante veneno, 210 

tantus, perdomitis decurrens Alpibus, atro 

involves bello Italiam tantoque fragore 

eruta convulsis prosternes oppida muris." 

His aegrum stimulis liquere deusque soporque. 
it membris gelidus sudor, laetoque pavore 215 

promissa evolvit somni noctemque retractat. 
iamque deum regi Martique sub omine fausto 
instauratus honos ; niveoque ante omnia tauro 
plaeatus meritis monitor Cyllenius aris. 
extemplo edicit convellere signa, repensque 220 

castra quatit clamor permixtis dissona linguis. 

Prodite, Calliope, famae, quos horrida coepta 
excierint populos tulerintque in regna Latini, 
et quas indomitis urbes armarit Hiberis 
quasque Paraetonio glomerarit litore turmas 225 

ausa sibi Libye rerum deposcere frenos 
et terris mutare iugum. non ulla nee umquam 
saevior it trucibus tempestas acta procellis ; 

^ The mountain gets this epithet because it was the scene 
of his birth and might be called his nurse. 

'The Romans : Ida is a mountain near Troy. 

' Sacrifices are meant. 

•* The shafts of ancient standards ended in a metal point 
wiiich was driven into the ground when the army halted. 

* Paraetonian, more properly Egyptian, is used loosely for 
African : cp. v. 356. 
128 



PUNICA, III. 203-228 

jaws. The god who was born in the cold caverns of 
fostering <* Cyllene made reply : " You see the war 
you have prayed for : mighty wars follow in your 
train, and falling forests, and fierce storms in an 
angry sky, and slaughter of men, with mighty de- 
struction and doleful doom to the people of Ida.^ 
All this is your doing. As that huge serpent with 
scaly hide laid waste the mountains and hurled the 
uprooted forests over the plains and wetted the 
whole earth with its foaming slaver, so you, as huge, 
will rush down from the conquered Alps and wrap 
Italy in a black cloud of war ; and with a noise 
like the serpent's you will shatter the walls of 
towns and root out cities and dash them to the 
ground." 

The god and slumber then left him, disturbed by 
these incitements. A cold sweat broke out on his 
body, while he turned over the promises of the dream 
w4th a fearful joy and reviewed the night once more. 
Soon was honour ^ paid to the King of Heaven and 
Mars, because of the favourable omen ; and first of 
all the god of Cyllene, in reward for his counsel, was 
propitiated with the sacrifice of a snow-white bull. 
At once Hannibal ordered that the standards should 
be plucked up,'^ and a sudden shout shook the camp 
filled with a babel of discordant tongues. 

Hand down to fame. Calliope, the peoples sum- 
moned forth by this fell enterprise and borne against 
the realm of Latinus ! Name the cities of warlike 
Spaniards whom Carthage armed, and the squadrons 
that she mustered on the shore of Africa,^ when she 
dared to claim for herself the reins of government, 
and to give a new ruler to mankind. Never at any 
time did a fiercer tempest rage, driven on by furious 

129 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nee bellum raptis tam dirum mille earinis 

aerius infremuit trepidumque exterruit orbem. 230 

Prineeps signa tulit Tyria Carthagine pubes, 
membra levis celsique decus fraudata superbum 
corporis, at docilis fallendi et nectere tectos 
numquam tarda dolos. rudis his turn parma, brevique 
bellabant ense ; at vestigia nuda, sinusque 235 

cingere inassuetum, et rubrae velamine vestis 
ars erat in pugna fusum occuluisse cruorem. 
his rector fulgens ostro super altior omnes 
germanus nitet HannibaHs gratoque tumultu 
Mago quatit currus et fratrem spirat in armis. 240 

Proxima Sidoniis Utica est efFusa maniphs, 
prisca situ veterisque ante arces condita Byrsae. 
tunc, quae Sicanio praecinxit litora muro, 
in chpei speciem curvatis turribus, Aspis. 
sed dux in sese converterat ora Sychaeus, 245 

Hasdrubahs proles, cui vano corda tumore 
maternum implebat genus, et resonare superbo 
Hannibal baud umquam cessabat avunculus ore. 

Affuit undosa cretus Berenicide miles, 
nee, tereti dextras in pugnam armata dolone, 250 
destituit Barce sitientibus arida venis. 
nee non Cyrene Pelopei stirpe nepotis 
Battiadas pravos fidei stimulavit in arma. 

" The war in which Agamemnon launched a thousand 
ships against Troy. 

'' Utica, a colony of Tyre, was said to have been founded 
287 years earlier than Carthage. 

« See note to ii. 363. 

•* Aspis, called Clypea by the Romans (both names mean 
"Shield"), was fortified by Agathocles, tyrant of Syracuse, 
in 310 B.C., when he was making war against Carthage. 
The city was shaped like a shield. 

* The mother of Sychaeus was Hannibal's sister. 
130 



PUNICA, III. 229-253 

winds ; not even that dreadful war** that swept along a 
thousand ships raged with more violence or appalled 
more utterly a terror-stricken world. 

Foremost in the ranks were the soldiers from Tyrian 
Carthage. Light of limb were they, and the glory of 
lofty stature was denied them; but they were readily 
taught to deceive, and never slow to lay secret traps 
for the enemy. They carried then a primitive shield, 
and fought with a short sword ; their feet were bare, 
nor was it their custom to wear a belt ; their dress 
was red, and they had skill to hide under its covering 
the blood shed in battle. Their leader was Mago, 
Hannibal's brother, and his purple-clad figure over- 
topped them all while he drove his chariot along, 
rejoicing in its clattering noise and bold as his brother 
in the fray. 

Next to the men of Carthage, Utica poured forth 
her people — Utica hoary with age,^ that was founded 
before the citadel of ancient Byrsa.'' Next came 
Aspis,*^ which borders the sea with a wall built by the 
Sicilian, and whose ramparts form a crescent in the 
shape of a shield. But all eyes were turned upon 
their leader, Sychaeus, a son of Hasdrubal, who was 
filled with vainglory on the score of his mother's 
blood ^ ; and the name of his uncle, Hannibal, came 
ever proudly from his lips. 

The warlike sons of Berenicis by the sea were 
present ; nor was Barce backward, a dry land of thirsty 
springs, whose men are armed for battle with long 
smooth pikes ; and Cyrene too roused to arms the 
sons of Battus,^ treacherous men, descendants from a 

^ Cyrene, a Greek settlement in Africa, was founded in 
631 B.C. by Battus and a body of Dorian colonists. Why 
this people is called treacherous is not known. 

131 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

quos trahit, antique laudatus Hamilcare quondam, 
consilio viridis sed belli serus Ilertes. 255 

Sabratha turn Tyrium vulgus Sarranaque Leptis 
Oeaque Trinacrios Afris permixta colonos 
et Tingim rapido mittebat ab aequore Lixus. 
turn Vaga et antiquis dilectus regibus Hippo, 
quaeque procul cavit non aequos Ruspina fluctus, 260 
et Zama et uberior Rutulo nunc sanguine Thapsus. 
ducit tot populos, ingens et corpore et armis, 
Herculeam factis servans ac nomine famam, 
Antaeus celsumque caput super agmina tollit. 

Venere Aethiopes, gens baud incognita Nilo, 265 
qui magneta secant ; solis honor ille, metalli 
intactum chalybem vicino ducere saxo. 
his simul, immitem testantes corpore solem, 
exusti venere Nubae. non aerea cassis 
nee lorica riget ferro, non tenditur arcus ; 270 

tempora multiplici mos est defendere Uno 
et lino munire latus scelerataque sucis 
spicula dirigere et ferrum infamare veneno. 
tum primum castris Phoenicum tendere ritu 
Cinyphii didicere Macae ; squalentia barba 275 

ora viris, humerosque tegunt velamine capri 
saetigero ; panda manus est armata cateia. 
versicolor contra caetra et falcatus ab arte 
ensis Adyrmachidis ac laevo tegmina crure. 
sed mensis asper populus victuque maligno ; 280 

" Sarra is an ancient name of Tyre. The reader would do 
well to consult an Ancient Atlas for these places. 

" Thapsus was the scene of Caesar's defeat of the Pom- 
peians (46 b.c). 

" It is implied that Antaeus was descended from the giant 
of that name conquered by Hercules : see 1. 40. 
132 



PUNICA, III. 254-280 

Peloponnesian stock. They were led by Ilertes,whom 
old Hamilcar praised long ago, active still in council 
but slow in war. 

Then Sabratha and Phoenician <* Leptis sent their 
Tyrian folk, and Oca sent Sicilian colonists mixed 
with Africans, and the river Lixus sent the men of 
Tingis from the stormy shore. Next came Vaga, and 
Hippo dear to kings of old, and Ruspina, which guards 
herself by distance against sea-floods ; and, with 
Zama, Thapsus, now made more fertile by Roman 
blood.^ All these peoples were led by Antaeus, a 
giant in giant armour ; by his deeds as by his 
name he kept alive the fame of Hercules,^ and towered 
above the heads of his soldiers. 

The Ethiopians came, a race whom the Nile knows 
well, who dig the loadstone from the earth ; they 
alone have the power to attract the iron of the mine 
without the use of tools by placing the stone beside 
it. Together with them came the burnt-up Nubae, 
whose bodies show the fierce heat of their sun ; they 
wear no helmet of brass nor tough cuirass of steel ; 
nor do they bend the bow. It is their custom to pro- 
tect their heads with many folds of linen, and with 
linen to cover their bodies, and to throw javelins 
steeped in noxious juices, thus disgracing the steel 
with poison. Then first the Macae, from the river 
Cinyps, learned how to pitch tents in their camp 
in Phoenician fashion — shaggy bearded men, whose 
backs are covered with the bristling hide of a wild 
goat, and the weapon they carry is a curved javelin. 
But the Adyrmachidae bear a target of many colours, 
and a sword fashioned by the smith in the shape of a 
sickle, and wear greaves on the left leg. Rough 
was this people's fare, and scanty their diet ; for their 

133 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nam calida tristes epulae torrentur harena. 
quin et Massyli fulgentia signa tulere, 
Hesperidum veniens lucis domus ultima terrae. 
praefuit, intortos demissus vertice crines, 
Bocchus atrox, qui sacratas in litore silvas 285 

atque inter frondes revirescere viderat aurum. 

Vos quoque desertis in castra mapalibus itis, 
misceri gregibus Gaetulia sueta ferarum 
indomitisque loqui et sedare leonibus iras. 
nulla domus ; plaustris habitant ; migrare per arva 
mos atque errantes circumvectare penates. 291 

hinc mille alipedes turmae (velocior Euris 
et doctus virgae sonipes) in castra ruebant. 
ceu pernix cum densa vagis latratibus implet 
venator dumeta Lacon, aut exigit Umber 295 

nare sagax e calle feras, perterrita late 
agmina praecipitant volucres formidine cervi. 
hos agit baud laeto vultu nee fronte serena, 
Asbytes nuper caesae germanus, Acherras. 

Marmaridae, medicum vulgus, strepuere catervis ; 
ad quorum cantus serpens oblita veneni, 301 

ad quorum tactum mites iacuere cerastae. 
tum, chalybis pauper, Baniurae cruda iuventus, 
contenti parca durasse hastilia flamma, 
miscebant avidi trucibus fera murmura linguis. 305 



■ The Massyli were the most powerful of the tribes which 
occupied Numidia (now Algeria). Bocchus, their leader, had 
seen the Golden Apples in the garden of the Hesperides, which 
legend placed in the far North-west of Africa. 

134 



PUNICA, III. 281-306 

sorry meals are roasted on the burning sand. The 
Massyli " also brought thither their ghttering stan- 
dards, the most remote inhabitants of earth, coming 
from the groves of the Hesperides. Fierce Bocchus 
was their leader ; from his head the hair fell down in 
close curls ; and he had seen the sacred trees beside 
the sea, and the ghttering gold among the green 
leaves. 

The Gaetulians also, who are wont to live among 
packs of wild beasts, and by their speech to allay the 
fierceness of untamed lions, left their settlements for 
the camp of Hannibal. Houseless men, they dwell in 
wagons ; their custom is to stray from place to place 
and to carry with them their moving household gods. 
Of these a thousand wing-footed squadrons came 
speeding to the camp ; their horses are swifter than 
the wind and taught to obey the switch. *> So, when 
the speedy Spartan dog fills the thickets with his 
roving bark, or the Umbrian hound by his keen scent 
drives wild beasts forth from a mountain path, the 
flying deer in their terror rush headlong in their herds 
far and wide. Acherras led the Gaetulians ; but his 
face was not joyful, nor his brow serene ; for he was 
the brother of Asbyte ^ so lately slain. 

Then came the Marmaridae with a sound of clash- 
ing arms, a people of magical powers, at whose spells 
the snake forgot its poison, and at whose touch horned 
serpents lay still and harmless. Next came the 
hardy warriors of Baniura ; having little iron they 
are content to harden their spear-points over a 
scanty flame ; eager for battle they uttered wild cries 



* Their horses had no bridles: cp. i. 215 foil. 
" See ii. 5G foil. 



135 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

necnon Autololes, levibus gens ignea plantis ; 
cui sonipes cursu, cui cesserit incitus amnis, 
tanta fuga est ; certant pennae, campumque volatu 
cum rapuere, pedum frustra vestigia quaeras. 
spectati castris, quos suco nobilis arbor 310 

et dulci pascit lotos nimiis hospita baca. 
quique atro rabidas effervescente veneno 
dipsadas immensis horrent Garamantes harenis. 
fama docet, caesae rapuit cum Gorgonis ora 
Perseus, in Libyam dirum fluxisse cruorem ; 315 

inde Medusaeis terram exundasse chelydris. 
milibus his ductor spectatus Marte Choaspes, 
Neritia Meninge satus, cui tragula semper 
fulmineam armabat, celebratum missile, dextram. 
hue coit aequoreus Nasamon, invadere fluctu 320 

audax naufragia et praedas avellere ponto ; 
hue, qui stagna colunt Tritonidos alta paludis, 
qua virgo, ut fama est, bellatrix edita lympha 
invento primam Libyen perfudit olivo. 

Necnon totus adest vesper popuHque reposti. 325 
Cantaber ante omnes, hiemisque aestusque famisque 
invictus palmamque ex omni ferre labore. 
mirus amor populo, cum pigra incanuit aetas, 
imbelles iam dudum annos praevertere fato 

" The companions of Ulysses, after eating the fruit of the 
lotus, lost all desire to return home to Ithaca. 

** The Gorgon, Medusa, had snakes for hair. 

* For the adj. " Neritian " see note to ii. 317. 

^ Pallas Athene : when she sprang from the head of her 
father, Jupiter, she alighted first in Africa, near Lake 
Tritonis. The olive was her tree, and she introduced it first 
into Africa. 
136 



PUNICA, III. 306-329 

together with fierce speech. The Autololes also 
came, a fiery race of nimble runners : no horse nor 
flooded river could match their pace, so great their 
speed. They vie with the birds ; and, when they 
have scoured the plain in their flight, you would look 
in vain for their footprints. There were seen also in 
the army the people who feed on the tree famous for 
its juices — on the sweet berries of the lotus, too 
friendly to the stranger." The Garamantes were 
there, who dread the furious serpents that pour out 
black venom in their boundless deserts. Legend tells 
that, when Perseus slew the Gorgon and carried off 
her head, the horrid gore dripped over Libya, and 
from that time the land has abounded with the snakes 
of Medusa.^ These thousands were led by Choaspes, 
a proved warrior, native of Meninx, an Ithacan " 
island ; his right arm, swift as the lightning, ever 
bore a javelin, his renowned weapon. Hither came 
the Nasamones from the sea, men who fear not to 
attack wrecked ships upon the water, and to snatch 
their booty from the deep ; and hither came the 
dwellers by the deep pools of Lake Tritonis, where the 
Maiden Warrior sprang, as legend tells, from the 
water and anointed Libya, before other lands, with 
the olive-oil which she herself had discovered. '^ 

Moreover, all the West * with its remote nations 
was present too. First of all were the Cantabrians, 
proof against cold and heat and hunger, and victorious 
over every hardship. This people, when disabled by 
white old age, find a strange pleasure in cutting short 
the years of weakness by an instant death, and they 

' The West stands for Spain : Spanish soldiers formed the 
backbone of Hannibal's armies. 

137 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nee vitam sine Marte pati : quippe omnis in armis 330 
lucis causa sita, et damnatum vivere paci. 

Venit et, Aurorae lacrimis perfusus, in orbem 
diversum, patrias fugit cum devius oras, 
armiger Eoi non felix Memnonis Astyr. 
his parvus sonipes nee Marti notus ; at idem 335 

aut inconcusso glomerat vestigia dorso, 
aut molli pacata celer rapit esseda collo. 
Cydnus agit, iuga Pyrenes venatibus acer 
metiri iaeulove extendere proelia Mauro. 

Venere et Celtae sociati nomen Hiberis. 340 

his pugna cecidisse decus, corpusque cremari 
tale nefas : caelo credunt superisque referri, 
impastus carpat si membra iacentia vultur. 

Fibrarum et pennae divinarumque sagacem 
flammarum misit dives Callaecia pubem, 345 

barbara nunc patriis ululantem carmina linguis, 
nunc, pedis alterno percussa verbere terra, 
ad numerum resonas gaudentem plaudere caetras. 
haec requies ludusque viris, ea sacra voluptas. 
cetera femineus peragit labor ; addere sulco 350 

semina et impresso tellurem vertere aratro, 
segne viris. quicquid duro sine Marte gerundum, 
Callaici coniux obit irrequieta mariti. 
hos Viriathus agit Lusitanumque remotis 
extractum lustris, primo Viriathus in aevo, 355 

nomen Romanis factum mox nobile damnis. 

" The Astures inhabited Asturia in Spain. Silius derives 
their name from Astyr, the charioteer of Memnon. When 
Achilles slew Memnon before Troy, his mother, Aurora, shed 
tears. 

** They were called Celtiberi. " Portuguese. 

«* The allusion is to a later Viriathus, who for fourteen 
years fought a guerilla warfare against Ptome for the 
freedom of his country, and fell by treachery in 142 B.C. 
138 



PUNICA, III. 330-366 

refuse life except in arms. For war is their only 
reason for living, and they scorn a peaceful existence. 

Then Astyr,** the ill-starred squire of Eastern 
Memnon, came ; wetted by Aurora's tears, he had 
fled far from his native land to the opposite quarter of 
the world. The horses of the Astyrians are small and 
not notable in battle ; yet they amble without shaking 
their rider, or with docile neck can draw a carriage 
with speed in time of peace. They were led by 
Cydnus, eager to scour the heights of the Pyrenees in 
the chase, or to fight from a distance with Moorish 
javelin. 

The Celts who have added to their name that of 
the Hiberi ^ came also. To these men death in battle 
is glorious ; and they consider it a crime to burn the 
body of such a warrior ; for they believe that the 
soul goes up to the gods in heaven, if the body is 
devoured on the field by the hungry vulture. 

Rich Galliciasent her people, men who have know- 
ledge concerning the entrails of beasts, the flight of 
birds, and the lightnings of heaven ; they delight, at 
one time, to chant the rude songs of their native 
tongue, at another to stamp the ground in the dance 
and clash their noisy shields in time to the music. 
Such is the relaxation and sport of the men, and such 
their solemn rejoicings. All other labour is done by 
the women : the men think it unmanly to throw seed 
into the furrow and turn the soil by pressure of the 
plough ; but the wife of the Gallician is never still 
and performs every task but that of stern war. 
These men, and the Lusitanians ^ drawn forth from 
their distant forests, were led by the young Viriathus 
— Viriathus, whose name was to win fame from Roman 
disasters at a later day.** 

139 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Nee Cerretani, quondam Tirynthia castra, | 

aut Vasco, insuetus galeae, ferre arma morati. 
non, quae Dardanios post vidit, Ilerda, furores, 
nee qui, Massageten monstrans feritate parentem, 360 
cornipedis fusa satiaris, Concane, vena, 
iamque Ebusus Phoenissa movet, movet Arbacus 

arma, 
aclyde vel tenui pugnax instare veruto ; 
iam cui Tlepolemus sator et cui Lindus origo, 
funda bella ferens Baliaris et alite plumbo ; 3G5 

et quos nunc Gravios violato nomine Graium 
Oeneae misere domus Aetolaque Tyde. 
dat Carthago viros, Teucro fundata vetusto, 
Phocaicae dant Emporiae, dat Tarraco pubem 
vitifera et Latio tantum cessura Lyaeo. 370 

hos inter clara thoracis luce nitebat 
Sedetana cohors, quam Sucro rigentibus undis 
atque altrix celsa mittebat Saetabis arce — 
Saetabis et telas Arabum sprevisse superba 
et Pelusiaco filum componere lino. 375 

Mandonius populis domitorque insignis equorum 
imperitat Caeso, et socio stant castra labore. 

At Vettonum alas Balarus probat aequore aperto. 
hie adeo, cum ver placidum flatusque tepescit, 
concubitus servans tacitos, grex perstat equarum 380 

" Ilerda in Spain was the scene of fighting between 
Pompey's army and Caesar in 49 b.c. 

* The Massagetae were a Scythian tribe : other writers 
attribute to them this practice, of bleeding their horses to get 
a meal for themselves. 

" An island to the south of Spain. 

<* Lindus is one of the three cities founded in Rhodes by 
Tlepolemus, a son of Hercules and king of Argos. 
140 



PUNICA, III. 357-380 

The Cerretani, who once fought for Hercules, were 
not slow now to bear arms ; nor the Vascones, un- 
used to wear helmets ; nor Ilerda, that witnessed later 
the madness of Romans ^ ; nor the Concanian, who 
proves by his savagery his descent from the Massa- 
getae, when he opens a vein of his horse to fill his own 
belly. ^ Now Phoenician Ebusus ^ rises in arms ; and 
the Arbacians, fierce fighters with the dart or slender 
javelin ; and the Balearic islanders, whose sire was 
Tlepolemus and Lindus '^ their native land, waging 
war with the sling and flying bullet ; and the men 
sent forth by the town of Oene and Aetolian Tyde,'' 
called Gravii by corruption of Graii, their former 
name. Carthago,-^ founded by Teucer of old, supplied 
men ; and also Emporiae, colony of Massilia, and 
Tarraco, the land of vines, which allows precedence to 
no vintage but that of Latium. Conspicuous among 
these by the sheen of their cuirasses were the Sede- 
tanian soldiers, who came from the icy waters of 
the Sucro and the lofty citadel of their mother city, 
Saetabis — Saetabis which dares to despise the 
looms of the Arabs and to match her webs against 
the linen of Egypt. These peoples were com- 
manded by Mandonius and by Caeso, famous tamer 
of horses ; and their joint exertions kept the host 
together. 

The squadrons of the Vettones were reviewed on 
the open plain by Balarus. In that country, when 
spring is mild and airs are warm, the drove of mares 
stand still, mating in secret, and conceive a mysterious 

• Diomedes, king of Aetolia, after leaving Troy, visited 
Spain and there founded Tyde, in honour of his father, 
Tydeus. 

^ Usually called New Carthage. 
VOL. I F 141 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et Venerem occultam genitali concipit aura, 
sed non multa dies generi, properatque senectus, 
septimaque his stabulis longissima ducitur aestas. 

At non Sarmaticos attoUens Uxama muros 
tam levibus persultat equis ; hinc venit in arma 385 
haud aevi fragilis sonipes crudoque vigore 
asper frena pati aut iussis parere magistris. 
Rhyndacus his ductor, telum sparus ; ore ferarum 
et rictu horrificant galeas ; venatibus aevum 
transigitur, vel more patrum vis raptaque pascunt. 390 

Fulget praecipuis Parnasia Castulo signis 
et celebre Oceano atque alternis aestibus Hispal 
ac Nebrissa dei Nysaeis conscia thyrsis, 
quam Satyri coluere leves redimitaque sacra 
nebride et arcano Maenas nocturna Lyaeo. 395 

Arganthoniacos armat Carteia nepotes. 
rex proavis fuit humani ditissimus aevi, 
ter denos decies emensus belliger annos. 
armat Tartessos, stabulanti conscia Phoebo, 
et Munda, Emathios ItaHs paritura labores. 400 

nee decus auriferae cessavit Corduba terrae. 
hos duxere viros flaventi vertice Phorcys 
spiciferisque gravis bellator Arauricus oris, 



" This fable of mares made pregnant by the wind is found 
in Virgil {Georg. iii. 271): it was a way of accounting for 
the speed of their progeny : see xvi. 364. 

* The connexion between Sarmatia (Poland) and the 
Spanish town of Uxama is not elsewhere mentioned. 

" See note to 1. 98. 

^ Now Seville, near the mouth of the Guadalquivir : the 
estuary rises and falls with the tide. 
142 



PUNICA, III. 381-403 

progeny begotten by the wind." But their stock is 
short-Uved : old age comes quick upon them, and 
the Hfe of these horses lasts but seven years at the 
longest. 

Less nimble on their feet are the horses from 
Uxama, a city whose walls are Sarmatian ^ ; but her 
steeds that came to war were tenacious of life ; their 
lusty youth found it hard to endure the bit or obey 
the commands of the rider. These men were led by 
Rhyndacus and armed with spears ; they add terror 
to their helmets by decking them with the open jaws 
of wild beasts ; they pass their lives in hunting, or 
support themselves, as their fathers did, by violence 
and rapine. 

Bright beyond the rest shone the ensigns of 
Delphian Castulo ^ ; and of Hispalis,^ famous for 
commerce and for the ebb and flow of its tides ; and of 
Nebrissa which knows the thyrsi of the Nysaean god * 
— Nebrissa haunted by nimble Satyrs and nightly 
Maenads, who wear the sacred fawn-skin and the 
mystic vine-leaf. Carteia sent to war the children 
of Arganthonius ; king over their ancestors, he sur- 
passed all mankind in length of days and waged war 
for the space of three hundred years. Tartessus, that 
sees the sun to rest, sprang to arms ; and likewise 
Munda,^ doomed to produce for Italy the suffering of 
Pharsalia ; nor did Corduba hang back, the pride cf 
a land rich in gold. These men were led by fair- 
haired Phorcys and by Arauricus whose arms were 
terrible to the corn-bearing lands ; the two were of 

« Bacchus, said to have been born at Nysa : Silius con- 
nects the name of the town with nehris^ " a fawn-skin." 

f At Munda Caesar defeated Pompey's sons (45 b.c). The 
site of the battle of Pharsalia is often called Emathia. 

143 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

aequales aevi ; genuit quos ubere ripa 

Palladio Baetis umbratus cornua ramo. 405 

Talia Sidonius per campos agmina ductor 
pulvere nigrantes raptat lustransque sub armis, 
qua visu comprendere erat, fulgentia signa 
ibat ovans longaque umbram tellure trahebat. 
non aliter, quotiens perlabitur aequora curru 410 

extremamque petit, Phoebea cubilia, Tethyn 
frenatis Neptunus equis, fluit omnis ab antris 
Nereidum chorus et sueto certamine nandi 
Candida perspicuo convertunt brachia ponto. 

At Pyrenaei frondosa cacumina montis 415 

turbata Poenus terrarum pace petebat. 
Pyrene celsa nimbosi verticis arce 
divisos Celtis late prospectat Hiberos 
atque aeterna tenet magnis divortia terris. 
nomen Bebrycia duxere a virgine colles, 420 

hospitis Alcidae crimen, qui, sorte laborum 
Geryonae peteret cum longa tricorporis arva, 
possessus Baccho saeva Bebrycis in aula 
lugendam formae sine virginitate reliquit 
Pyrenen, letique deus, si credere fas est, 425 

causa fuit leti miserae deus. edidit alvo 
namque ut serpentem patriasque exhorruit iras, 
confestim dulces liquit turbata penates. 
turn noctem Alcidae solis plangebat in antris 
et promissa viri silvis narrabat opacis, 430 

donee maerentem ingratos raptoris amores 

«• The olive-trees for which Corduba was famous. 

^ Hannibal. " Caused by the dust. 

^ See note to i. 271. 

* King of the Bebryces, an Iberian people living on both 
sides of the Pyrenees. Another people of the same name 
lived near the Black Sea. 
144> 



PUNICA, III. 404-431 

equal age, and were born on the fertile banks where 
the Baetis shelters his horns under the branches of 
the tree of Pallas.** 

Such was the host which the Carthaginian captain ^ 
led on at speed over the dust-darkened plains ; he 
reviewed their glittering ensigns in the field, as far 
as the eye could see, and rode on in triumph, leaving 
a shadow" on all the land he traversed. Even so, 
wlien Neptune glides over the deep in his chariot and 
drives his bitted coursers to the outermost Ocean 
where the sun sinks to rest, all the train of Nereids 
issue from their caves and, as is their wont, swim in 
rivalry, tossing their white arms in the transparent 
water. 

But now Hannibal, throwing a peaceful world into 
confusion, made for the leafy summits of the Pyrenees. 
From the eminence of their rain-swept peaks 
they command a wide prospect and divide Spain 
from Gaul, making an eternal barrier between two 
great countries. These mountains took their name 
from Pyrene, daughter of Bebryx and victim of Her- 
cules. For Hercules, in the course of his appointed 
Labours, was travelling to the distant land of three- 
bodied Geryon,^ when he was mastered by wine in 
the savage court of Bebryx,* and left Pyrene robbed 
of her maidenhood ; her beauty was a cause for 
mourning. The god (if it is not sinful to believe it), 
the god was the cause of the poor maiden's death. 
F'or when she gave birth to a serpent she fled at once 
from the home she loved, in horror and dread of her 
father's wrath. Then in lonely caves she mourned 
for the night when she lay with Alcides, and told 
his promises to the dark forests ; till at last, as 
she mourned the ingratitude of her ravisher, and 

145 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

tendentemque manus atque hospitis arma vocantem 
diripuere ferae, laceros Tirynthius artus, 
dum remeat victor, lacrimis perfudit et amens 
palluit invento dilectae virginis ore. 435 

at voce Herculea percussa cacumina montis 
intremuere iugis ; maesto clamore ciebat 
Pyrenen, scopulique omnes ac lustra ferarum 
Pyrenen resonant, tumulo turn membra reponit, 
supremum illacrimans ; nee honos intercidet aevo, 440 
defletumque tenent montes per saecula nomen. 

lamque per et colles et densos abiete lucos 
Bebryciae Poenus fines transcenderat aulae. 
inde ferox quaesitum armis per inhospita rura 
Volcarum populatur iter tumidique minaces 445 

accedit Rhodani festino milite ripas. 
aggeribus caput Alpinis et rupe nivali 
proserit in Celtas ingentemque extrahit amnem 
spumanti Rhodanus proscindens gurgite campos 
ac propere in pontum lato ruit incitus alveo. 450 

auget opes stanti similis tacitoque liquore 
mixtus Arar, quern gurgitibus complexus anhelis 
cunctantem immergit pelago raptumque per arva 
ferre vetat patrium vicina ad litora nomen. 
invadunt alacres inimicum pontibus amnem ; 455 

nunc celso capite et cervicibus arma tuentur, 
nunc validis gurges certatim frangitur ulnis. 
fluminea sonipes religatus ducitur alno, 



" Having killed Geryon. 

* The Arar (now the Saone) loses its name when it falls 
into the Rhone. 
146 



PUNICA, III. 432-468 

stretched forth her hands, imploring the aid of her 
guest, she was torn in pieces by wild beasts. When 
Hercules came back victorious ," he wetted the mangled 
hmbs with his tears ; and when he found the head 
of the maid he had loved, he turned pale, distraught 
with grief. Then the high mountain-tops, smitten 
by his cries, were shaken ; with loud lament he 
called Pyrene by name ; and all the cliffs and haunts 
of wild beasts echoed the name of Pyrene. Then, 
with a last tribute of tears, he laid her body in the 
grave. And time shall never eclipse her fame ; for 
the mountains retain for ever the name that caused 
such grief. 

And now, marching through hills and dense pine- 
woods, Hannibal had crossed the territory of the 
Bebrycian king. Thence he boldly forced his way 
through the land of the inhospitable Volcae, and 
ravaged it, till he came with rapid march to the for- 
midable banks of the swollen Rhone. That river, 
taking its rise in the Alpine heights and snow- 
covered rocks, flows into Gaul, expanding into a 
mighty stream, cleaving the plains with its foaming 
waters, and rushing with utmost speed into the sea 
in a broad estuary. The Arar, whose noiseless stream 
seems to stand still, joins the Rhone and swells it ; 
and the Rhone, embracing the reluctant Arar with its 
restless waters, plunges it into the sea, and forbids 
it, as it is hurried through the land, to carry its own 
name to the neighbouring shore. ^ The river will 
bear no bridges, and the soldiers eagerly plunged 
in ; some protect their weapons by holding their head 
and shoulders high, while others in keen rivalry stem 
the flood with stout arms. The horses were haltered 
and taken across in barges ; nor did the terror of the 

147 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

belua nee retinet tardante Libyssa timore ; 

nam trabibus vada et iniecta tellure repertum 460 

connexas operire trabes ac ducere in altum 

paulatim ripae resolutis aggere vinclis. 

at gregis illapsu fremebundo territus atras 

expavit moles Rhodanus stagnisque refusis 

torsit harenoso minitantia murmura fundo. 465 

lamque Tricastinis incedit finibus agmen, 
iam faciles campos, iam rura Vocontia carpit. 
turbidus hie truncis saxisque Druentia laetum 
ductoris vastavit iter, namque Alpibus ortus, 
avulsas ornos et adesi fragmina mentis 470 

cum sonitu volvens, fertur latrantibus undis 
ac vada translate mutat fallacia cursu, 
non pediti fidus, patulis non puppibus aequus ; 
et tunc, imbre recens fuso, correpta sub armis 
corpora multa virum spumanti vertice torquens 475 
immersit fundo laceris deformia membris. 

Sed iam praeteritos ultra meminisse labores 
conspectae propius dempsere paventibus Alpes. 
cuncta gelu canaque aeternum grandine tecta 
atque aevi glaciem cohibent ; riget ardua montis 480 
aetherii facies, surgentique obvia Phoebo 
duratas nescit flammis moUire pruinas. 
quantum Tartareus regni pallentis hiatus 
ad manes imos atque atrae stagna paludis 
a supera tellure patet, tam longa per auras 485 

erigitur tellus et caelum intercipit umbra. 



" Elephants. 

'' The cables served to secure the rafts : when the elephant 
had reached midstream, the cable was slackened. 

" Now the Durance. 

''In Hades. 
148 



PUNICA, III. 459-486 

Libyan beasts « delay or hinder the crossing; for they 
contrived to throw rafts over the stream and to conceal 
the line of rafts beneath a covering of soil ; then they 
led the elephants out on to the deep, loosing httle by 
little the cables ^ on the high bank. Scared by this 
invasion of trumpeting elephants, and fearing the 
dusky monsters, the Rhone turned back his stream 
and sent up ominous rumblings from his sandy 
depths. 

Now Hannibal moved on through the territory of 
the Tricastini, and made an easy march through the 
land of the Vocontii. But here the Druentia,*' rough 
with rocks and trunks of trees, turned his pleasant 
march to rack and ruin ; for, rising in the Alps, it 
carries along with a roar uprooted ash-trees and 
boulders washed away from the mountains, and rushes 
on with raging waters, often shifting its channel, and 
changing its deceitful fords. The foot-passenger 
cannot trust it ; no broad ship is safe upon it. Now, 
swollen by recent rains, it seized miany of the armed 
men, and whirled them round in its foaming eddies, 
and buried in its depths their mutilated bodies and 
mangled limbs. 

But now all memory of past hardships was dispelled 
by terror, when they saw the Alps close at hand. All 
that region is covered with rime and hail that never 
thaws, and imprisons the ice of ages ; the steep face 
of the lofty mountain rises stiffly up, and, though it 
faces the rising sun, can never melt its hardened crust 
in his rays. Deep as the chasm that divides the 
upper world from the pale kingdom of Tartarus, and 
descends to the dead below and the pools of the black 
marsh,** so high does the earth here rise towards 
heaven and shut out the sky by its shadow. There is 

VOL. I F 2 149 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nullum ver usquam nuUique aestatis honores. 
sola iugis habitat diris sedesque tuetur 
perpetuas deformis hiems ; ilia undique nubes 
hue atras agit et mixtos cum grandine nimbos. 490 
iam cuncti flatus ventique furentia regna 
Alpina posuere domo. caligat in altis 
obtutus saxis, abeuntque in nubila montes. 
mixtus Athos Tauro Rhodopeque adiuncta Mimanti 
Ossaque cum Pelio cumque Haemo cesserit Othrys. 
primus inexpertas adiit Tirynthius arces. 496 

scindeutem nubes frangentemque ardua mentis 
spectarunt superi longisque ab origine saeclis 
intemerata gradu magna vi saxa domantem. 

At miles dubio tardat vestigia gressu, 600 

impia ceu sacros in fines arma per orbem, 
natura prohibente, ferant divisque repugnent. 
contra quae ductor (non Alpibus ille nee ullo 
turbatus terrore loci, sed languida maestis 604 

corda virum fovet hortando revocatque vigorem) ; 
** non pudet obsequio superum fessosque seeundis, 
post belli decus atque acies, dare terga nivosis 
montibus et segnes summittere rupibus arma ? 
nunc, o nunc, socii, dominantis moenia Romae 
credite vos summumque lovis conseendere eulmen.510 
hie labor Ausoniam et dabit hie in vineula Thybrim." 
nee mora, commotum promissis ditibus agmen 
erigit in collem et vestigia linquere nota 
Herculis edieit magni erudisque locorum 

<• The Capitoline Hill at Rome, where stood the temple of 
Jupiter Optimus Maximus, the thunder-god. 
150 



PUNICA, III. 487-614 

no spring anywhere and no beauty of summer ; un- 
sightly winter alone inhabits the gruesome heights 
and dwells for ever there ; from every quarter winter 
drives hither black clouds and rain mixed with hail. 
All winds and storms, moreover, have set up their 
furious dominion in the Alps. The gaze turns giddy 
on the high cliffs, and the mountains are lost in the 
clouds. Athos added to Mount Taurus, Rhodope 
united to Mimas, Pelion piled on Ossa and Othrys 
on Mount Haemus — all these must bow before the 
Alps. Hercules was the first to set foot on these 
virgin fortresses ; he was a sight for the gods as he 
cleft the clouds, mastered the steep ascent, and with 
main force tamed the rocks that no foot had ever 
trodden during the long ages that followed their 
birth. 

The soldiers moved slow with lagging steps, think- 
ing that they were marching over the world into a 
forbidden land, in defiance of Nature and in opposition 
to Heaven. But their general would have none of it 
— he was not terrified by the Alps or all the horror of 
the place ; and his words raised the courage of his 
men and revived their energy when they were faint 
with fear. " Shame on you," he cried, " to grow 
weary of success and Heaven's favour, and, after 
glorious victories in the field, to retreat now before 
snow-clad mountains, cowed and beaten by cliffs ! 
Now, comrades, now — believe that you are even now 
scaling the walls of imperial Rome and the lofty hill 
of Jupiter.** Our present toil shall make Italy and 
the Tiber our prisoners." Straightway he led the 
army uphill, persuading them by his rich promises. 
He ordered the troops to abandon the track beaten 
by great Hercules, to march over fresh ground, and 

151 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ferre pedem ac proprio turmas evadere calle. 515 

rumpit inaccessos aditus atque ardua primus 

exsuperat summaque vocat de rupe cohortes. 

turn, qua durati concrete frigore coUis 

lubrica frustratur canenti semita clivo, 

luctantem ferro glaciem premit. haurit hiatu 520 

nix resoluta viros, altoque e culmine praeceps 

humenti turmas operit delapsa ruina. 

interdum adverse glomeratas turbine Caurus 

in media ora nives fuscis agit horridus alis ; 

aut rursum immani stridens avulsa procella 525 

nudatis rapit arma viris volvensque per orbem 

contorto rotat in nubes sublimia flatu. 

quoque magis subiere iugo atque, evadere nisi, 

erexere gradum, crescit labor, ardua supra 

sese aperit fessis et nascitur altera moles, 530 

unde nee edomitos exsudatosque labores 

respexisse libet ; tanta formidine plana 

exterrent repetita oculis ; atque una pruinae 

canentis, quacumque datur promittere visus, 

ingeritur facies. medio sic navita ponto, 535 

cum dulces liquit terras, et inania nuUos 

inveniunt ventos securo carbasa malo, 

immensas prospectat aquas ac, victa profundis 

aequoribus, fessus renovat sua lumina caelo. 

lamque super clades atque importuna locorum 640 
illuvie rigidaeque comae squalore perenni 
horrida semiferi promunt e rupibus ora, 



<• Or " the steel" may refer to iron spikes on the soldiers' 
boots. 

" The landscape is " even " (not " level "), because all 
irregularities of surface are obliterated by the snow. 
152 



PUNICA, III. 515-542 

climb up by a path of their own. He forced a 
passage where no man had passed ; he was the first 
to master heights and from the crag's top called 
on his men to follow. Where the ascent was stiff 
with frozen ice and the slippery path over the snow- 
slopes baffled them, he cut steps with the steel " in the 
resisting ice. When the snow thawed, it swallowed 
down the men in its opened jaws, and, as it rushed 
down from a height, buried whole companies beneath 
an avalanche. At times the North-west wind, menac- 
ing with dark wings, drove the snow, packed tight 
by the opposing gale, full in their faces ; or again, 
the fury of the raging storm stripped the men of 
their shields, and, rolling them round and round, 
whirled them aloft into the clouds with its circling 
blast. The higher they climbed in their struggle to 
reach the top, the harder grew their toil. When 
one height had been mastered, a second opens and 
springs up before their aching sight ; and from it they 
cared not even to look back at the difficulties they 
had already mastered by their sweat ; with such 
dread did the monotonous even landscape ^ strike their 
sight ; and, as far as their eyes could reach, the same 
scene of frozen snow forced itself upon them. So 
the sailor in mid-ocean, when he has left behind the 
land he loves, and the flapping sails on his idle mast 
can find no wind, looks forth upon a boundless waste 
of water, and turns wearily to the sky, to refresh his 
eyes that cannot endure the sight of the deep any 
longer. 

And now, on the top of the disasters and difficulties 
of the ascent, half-savage men peeped out from the 
rocks, showing faces hideous with filth and with the 
matted dirt of bristling locks. Pouring forth from 

153 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

atque efFusa cavis exesi pumicis antris 

Alpina invadit manus assuetoque vigore 

per dumos notasque nives atque invia pernix 545 

clausum montivagis infestat cursibus hostem. 

mutatur iam forma locis : hie sanguine multo 

infectae rubuere nives, hie, nescia vinci, 

paulatim glacies cedit tepefacta cruore ; 

dumque premit sonipes duro vestigia cornu, 650 

ungula perfossis haesit comprensa pruinis. 

nee pestis lapsus simplex ; abscisa relinquunt 

membra gelu, fractosque asper rigor amputat artus. 

bis senos soles, totidem per vulnera saevas 

emensi noctes, optato vertice sidunt 555 

castraque praeruptis suspendunt ardua saxis. 

At Venus, ancipiti mentem labefacta timore, 
afFatur genitorem et rumpit maesta querellas : 
" quis poenae modus aut pereundi terminus, oro, 
Aeneadis erit ? et quando terrasque fretumque 560 
emensis sedisse dabis ? cur pellere nostros 
a te concessa Poenus parat urbe nepotes ? 
Alpibus imposuit Libyam finemque minatur 
imperio. casus metuit iam Roma Sagunti. 
quo Troiae extremos cineres sacramque ruinam 565 
Assaracique larem et Vestae secreta feramus, 
da sedem, genitor, tutisque iacere. parumne est, 
exilia errantes totum quaesisse per orbem ? 
anne iterum capta repetentur Pergama Roma ? ** 



" Assaracus, son of Tros, was a king of Troy. 

^ The fire sacred to Vesta which Aeneas carried with him 
from Troy to Italy. Pergama was the citadel of Troy. 
154 



PUNICA, III. 543-669 

caves in the hollow rock, the natives of the Alps 
attacked them ; with the ease of habit they sped 
through thorn-brakes and their familiar snow-drifts 
and pathless places ; and soon the army was hemmed 
in and assailed by the nimble mountaineers. And 
now the place bore a different aspect. For here the 
snow turned red, deeply dyed with blood ; and here 
the ice, unwilling to give way, yielded by degrees, 
when the hot blood thawed it ; and where the horse 
stamps his horny feet, the hoof sticks fast in the ice he 
has bored through. Nor is a fall the only danger ; for 
men leave arms and legs behind, severed by the frost, 
and the cruel cold cuts off the limbs already broken. 
Twelve days and as many dreadful nights they spent in 
such suffering, before they rested on the longed-for 
summit, and hung their camp aloft on precipitous cliffs. 
But now Venus, her heart shaken with doubt and 
fear, addressed her sire and broke into sorrowful 
complaint. " What limit of their punishment will 
the Aeneadae ever reach, I ask, or what end to their 
destruction ? When wilt thou grant them a fixed 
abode, after all their wanderings over land and sea ? 
Why does the Carthaginian essay to drive my de- 
scendants from the city which thou didst grant them ? 
He has planted Libya upon the Alps and threatens 
an end to Roman power. Rome now dreads the 
fate of Saguntum. Grant us a resting-place, O 
Father, whither we may bear at last the ashes and 
sacred relics of fallen Troy, with the house of 
Assaracus** and the mysteries of Vesta. ^ Grant us 
safety in our overthrow. Is it not enough that we 
have wandered over the whole earth, seeking a place 
of exile ? Or shall Rome be taken and the doom 
of Troy be repeated once more ? " 

155 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

His Venus ; et contra genitor sic deinde profatur : 
" pelle metus, neu te Tyriae conamina gentis 571 
turbarint, Cytherea ; tenet longumque tenebit 
Tarpeias arces sanguis tuus. hac ego Martis 
mole viros spectare paro atque expendere bello. 
gens ferri patiens ac laeta domare labores 675 

paulatim antiquo patrum dissuescit honori ; 
atque ille, baud umquam parens pro laude cruoris 
et semper famae sitiens, obscura sedendo 
tempora agit, mutum volvens inglorius aevum, 
sanguine de nostro populus, blandoque veneno 580 
desidiae virtus paulatim evicta senescit. 
magnae molis opus multoque labore parandum, 
tot populos inter soli sibi poscere regna. 
iamque tibi veniet tempus, quo maxima rerum 
nobilior sit Roma malis. hinc nomina nostro 585 
non indigna polo referet labor ; hinc tibi Paulus, 
hinc Fabius gratusque mihi Marcellus opimis. 
hi tantum parient Latio per vulnera regnum, 
quod luxu et multum mutata mente nepotes 
non tamen evertisse queant. iamque ipse creatus, 
qui Poenum revocet patriae Latioque repulsum 591 
ante suae muros Carthaginis exuat armis. 
hinc, Cytherea, tuis longo regnabitur aevo. 
exin se Curibus virtus caelestis ad astra 



• A name of Venus, derived from the town of Cythera in 
Crete. 

^ L. Aemilius Paulus was killed in the battle of Cannae 
(216 B.C.). His son, of the same name, defeated Perseus, 
king of Macedonia. Fabius is the famous dictator nick- 
named " Slow-coach." M. Claudius Marcellus in 222 b.c. 
killed Viridomarus, king of the Insubrians, with his own 
hand and so gained what were called spolia opima. He 
defeated Hannibal at Nola in 215 b.c. 
156 



PUNICA. III. 570 694 

Thus Venus spoke, and then her sire made answer 
thus : " Fear not, Cytherea,*^ nor be disturbed by the 
ambition of the Tyrian people. Your descendants hold 
the Tarpeian rock and long shall hold it. But I mean 
to test their manhood by this great conflict and to 
try them in war. A people, once steadfast in battle 
and triumphant over hardships, are forgetting by 
degrees the ancient glory of their sires. Then they 
never spared their blood in honour's cause, and ever 
thirsted for fame ; but now they pass their time in 
obscurity and inaction, and spend their lives amid 
inglorious silence, though my blood is in their veins ; 
and their manliness is slowly sapped and weakened 
by the seductive poison of indolence. But it is a mighty 
enterprise that must cost intense effort, to claim 
power for themselves alone among so many nations. 
Thou shalt see a time come, when Rome, mistress of 
the world, shall be more glorious for her calamities. 
Thus suffering shall produce famous men, worthy to 
dwell with us in heaven ; thou shalt see a Paulus, 
a Fabius, and a Marcellus who has pleased me by 
honourable spoils.'' These men, by their defeats, 
will gain for Latium an empire so great, that their 
descendants will be unable to overthrow it, for all 
their luxury and degenerate hearts. Already the 
man '^ is born who shall drive Hannibal back from 
Latium to his own land, and strip him of his arms 
before the walls of his native Carthage. Thereafter 
thy descendants, Cytherea, shall reign for ages. 
Later still, godHke excellence shall come from Cures <* 

' P. Cornelius Scipio Africanus. 

** Cures was an ancient city in the Sabine country, where 
Vespasian was born. An elaborate panegyric follows upon 
Vespasian and his sons and successors — Titus and Domitian. 

157 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

efFeret, et sacris augebit nomen lulis 695 

bellatrix gens bacifero nutrita Sabino. 

hinc pater ignotam donabit vincere Thylen 

inque Caledonios primus trahet agmina lucos ; 

compescet ripis Rhenum, reget impiger Afros 

palmiferamque senex bello domitabit Idumen. 600 

nee Stygis ille lacus viduataque lumine regna 

sed superum sedem nostrosque tenebit honores. 

turn iuvenis, magno praecellens robore mentis, 

excipiet patriam molem celsusque feretur, 

aequatum imperio tollens caput : hie fera gentis 605 

bella Palaestinae primo delebit in aevo. 

at tu transcendes, Germanice, facta tuorum, 

iam puer auricomo praeformidate Batavo. 

nee te terruerint Tarpei culminis ignes, 

sacrilegas inter flammas servabere terris ; 610 

nam te longa manent nostri consortia mundi. 

huie laxos arcus olim Gangetica pubes 

summittet, vacuasque ostendent Bactra pharetras. 

hie et ab Arctoo currus aget axe per urbem, 

ducet et Eoos, Baccho cedente, triumphos. 615 

idem, indignantem tramittere Dardana signa, 

Sarmaticis victor compescet sedibus Histrum. 

quin et Romuleos superabit voce nepotes, 

quis erit eloquio partum decus. huic sua Musae 

** The olive-berry, 

* The emperors of the Julio-Claudian hne. 

" " Thule " stands for the far North — possibly the Shet- 
lands, or Iceland. 

^ Vespasian fought against Judaea before becoming em- 
peror ; his elder son, Titus, took Jerusalem a.d. 70 and ended 
the war. Idume (Edom) stands for Judaea. 

* One of the undeserved titles conferred by Domitian on 
himself. 

' The temple on the Capitol was burnt down in a.d. 69, 
and Domitian was nearly burnt inside it. 
158 



PUNICA, III. 595-619 

and soar to heaven ; and a warrior family, reared 
on the berry <* that grows in the Sabine land, shall 
increase the fame of the deified Julii.^ The father of 
that family shall give Rome victory over Thule,<' 
unknown till then, and shall be the first to lead an 
army against the Caledonian forests ; he shall set 
banks to restrain the Rhine, he shall rule Africa with 
vigour, and, in his old age, he shall subdue in war the 
palm-groves of Idume.** Nor shall he descend to the 
pools of the Styx and the realm deprived of light ; 
but he shall attain to the habitation of the gods and 
the honours we enjoy. Then his son, unrivalled in 
mighty strength of mind, shall take up his father's 
task and move on in majesty, raising his head as high 
as his power. While yet a youth, he shall put an 
end to war with the fierce people of Palestine. But 
thou. Conqueror of Germany,* shalt outdo the exploits 
of thy father and brother ; even in boyhood thou 
wert dreaded by the yellow-haired Batavians. The 
burning of the Tarpeian temple cannot alarm thee ; 
but in the midst of the impious flames thou shalt be 
saved, for the sake of mankind ; ^ for in the distant 
future thou shalt share with me the kingdom of the 
sky. The people of the Ganges shall one day lower 
their unbent bows before him, and Bactra^ display 
its empty quivers. He shall drive the triumphal 
car through Rome after conquering the North ; he 
shall triumph over the East, and Bacchus give place 
to him. When the Danube refuses a passage to the 
Roman legions, he shall be victorious and retain the 
river in the land of the Sarmatians. Moreover, his 
oratory shall surpass all the sons of Romulus who have 
gained glory by their eloquence ; the Muses shall 
• The Parthians are meant here. 

159 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sacra ferent, meliorque lyra, cui substitit Hebrus 620 

et venit Rhodope, Phoebo miranda loquetur. 

ille etiam, qua prisca, vides, stat regia nobis, 

aurea Tarpeia ponet Capitolia rupe 

et iunget nostro templorum culmina caelo. 

tunc, o nate deum divosque dature, beatas 625 

imperio terras patrio rege. tarda senectam 

hospitia excipient caeli, solioque Quirinus 

concedet, mediumque parens fraterque locabunt : 

siderei iuxta radiabunt tempora nati." 

Dum pandit seriem venturi lupiter aevi, 630 

ductor Agenoreus, tumulis delatus iniquis, 
lapsantem dubio devexa per invia nisu 
firmabat gressum atque humentia saxa premebat. 
non acies hostisve tenet, sed prona minaci 
praerupto turbant et cautibus obvia rupes. 635 

stant clausi maerentque moras et dura viarum. 
nee refovere datur torpentia membra quiete ; 
noctem operi iungunt et robora ferre coactis 
approperant humeris ac raptas collibus ornos. 
iamque ubi nudarunt silva densissima montis, 640 
aggessere trabes ; rapidisque accensus in orbem 
excoquitur flammis scopulus. mox proruta ferro 
dat gemitum putris resoluto pondere moles 
atque aperit fessis antiqui regna Latini. 



" Domitian wrote an epic poem, " The War on the 
Capitol," which described the fighting in Rome when 
Vitellius fell ; but no line of it is preserved. 

** Orpheus. 

* Domitian rebuilt the temple of Jupiter with great magni- 
ficence : it was completed a.d. 82. 

^ Domitian had one son who died in childhood. 
160 



PUNICA, III. 620-644 

bring him offerings, and Phoebus shall marvel at 
his song ^ — a sweeter strain than his ^ whose music 
made the Hebrus stand still and Mount Rhodope 
move on. He shall also erect a golden Capitol on the 
Tarpeian " rock, where, as thou seest, my ancient 
palace now stands, and raise the summit of the 
temple to reach our abode in the sky. Then, O son 
of gods and father of gods to be,** rule the happy earth 
with paternal sway. Heaven shall welcome thee at 
last, in thy old age, and Quirinus * give up his throne 
to thee ; thy father and brother shall place thee be- 
tween them ; and hard by the head of thy deified 
son shall send forth rays." 

While Jupiter thus revealed the sequence of 
future events, the Carthaginian leader, descending the 
dangerous heights, tried with uncertain effort to get 
a firm foothold, as he slid down pathless slopes and 
trod on dripping rocks. No hostile army detained 
him ; but he was troubled by the dreadful steepness 
of the descent and by rocks confronting cliffs. The 
men stand still, as if shut in, and lament the 
obstacles and difficulties of the way. Nor can they 
sleep and so revive their frozen bodies ; but they work 
on all night in haste, forced to carry wood on their 
shoulders and to tear up ash-trees from the hills. 
Then after stripping the mountain where the trees 
grew thickest, they piled the timber in a heap ; and 
the rock, set on fire all round, was melted by the 
devouring flames. Then demolished by the axe, 
the heavy mass crumbled and parted asunder with a 
rumbling sound and opened up to the weary soldiers 
the land of old Latinus.^ At last, after all these 



* The name given to Romulus when deified. 
/ Italy. 



161 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

his tandem ignotas transgressus casibus Alpes, 646 
Taurinis ductor statuit tentoria campis. 

Interea, voces lovis atque oracula portans, 
emensis aderat Garamantum laetus harenis 
Bostar et ut viso stimulabat corda Tonante : 
" maxime Belide, patriis qui moenibus arces 050 

servitium dextra, Libycas penetravimus aras. 
nos tulit ad superos perfundens sidera Syrtis, 
nos paene aequoribus tellus violentior hausit. 
ad finem caeli medio tenduntur ab orbe 
squalentes campi. tumulum natura negavit 655 

immensis spatiis, nisi quem cava nubila torquens 
construxit turbo, impacta glomeratus harena, 
vel si, perfracto populatus carcere terras, 
Africus et, pontum spargens super aera, Caurus 
invasere truces capientem proelia campum 660 

inque vicem ingesto cumularunt pulvere montes. 
has observatis valles enavimus astris ; 
namque dies confundit iter, peditemque profundo 
errantem campo et semper media arva vidcntem 
Sidoniis Cynosura regit fidissima nautis. 665 

verum ubi defessi lucos nemorosaque regna 
cornigeri lovis et fulgentia templa subimus, 
exceptos hospes tectis inducit Arisbas. 
Stat fano vicina, novum et memorabile, lympha, 
quae nascente die, quae deficient e tepescit 670 

" The name of this Gallic tribe survives in the city of 
Turin. 

» See 11. 6 foil. 

« See note to i. 408. 

«* See note to i. 193. 

* The Phoenicians used the Little Bear (Cynosura) to 
steer by ; the Greeks used the Great Bear (Helice) : see xiv. 
457. 

^ Jupiter Ammon : see note to i. 415. 
162 



PUNICA, III. 645-670 

sufferings, Hannibal crossed the untrodden Alps and 
pitched his camp on the plains of the Taurini.« 

Meanwhile Bostar ^ arrived, bearing the oracular 
response of Jupiter. He came with joy, after 
traversing the deserts of the Garamantes, and en- 
couraged Hannibal, as if he had seen the Thunder-god 
with his own eyes : " Mighty son of Belus, whose 
right arm defends your native walls from slavery, we 
made our way to the shrine of Libya. The Syrtis," 
which spatters the stars with its foam, bore us on 
towards the gods ; and the land, more furious than the 
sea, almost swallowed us up. From the centre of 
earth to the limit of the sky the barren plains stretch 
out. Nowhere in that boundless tract does Nature 
suffer the level to rise, save where a whirlwind, thick 
with accumulated sand, and driving the hollow clouds 
along, has raised up a mound. Or sometimes the 
South-west wind breaks its prison ^ and devastates 
the earth ; and then a blast from the North-west, 
scattering the sea over the sky, falls fiercely on the 
plain that is large enough for their battle ; and 
the two winds, blowing against each other, raise 
mountains of heaped-up sand. We steered our 
course across these hollows by observation of the 
stars ; for daylight confuses the tracks, and the 
Little Bear, which never deceives the Phoenician 
mariner,* guides the traveller, as he strays over the 
sandy depths and ever sees the waste all round him. 
But when we came, weary travellers, to the groves 
and tree-clad abode and shining temple of Jupiter 
who has horns on his forehead,^ Arisbas welcomed 
us as guests and took us to his house. Beside 
the temple is a wondrous marvel — a spring, whose 
water is lukewarm at morning and at evening, but 

163 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

quaeque riget, medius cum sol accendit Olympum, 
atque eadem rursum nocturnis fervet in umbris. 
turn loca plena deo, dites sine vomere glebas 
ostentat senior laetaque ita mente profatur : 
* has umbras nemorum et connexa cacumina caelo 676 
calcatosque lovi lucos prece, Bostar, adora. 
nam cui dona lovis non divulgata per orbem, 
in gremio Thebes geminas sedisse columbas ? 
quarum, Chaonias pennis quae contigit oras, 
implet fatidico Dodonida murmure quercum. 680 

at quae, Carpathium super aequor vecta, per auras 
in Libyen piceis^ tranavit concolor alis. 
hanc sedem templo Cythereia condidit ales ; 
hie, ubi nunc aram lucosque videtis opacos, 
ductore electo gregis, admirabile dictu, 685 

lanigeri capitis media inter cornua perstans, 
Marmaricis ales populis responsa canebat. 
mox subitum nemus atque annoso robore lucus 
exiluit ; qualesque premunt nunc sidera quercus, 
a prima venere die ; prisco inde pavore 690 

arbor nimien habet coliturque tepentibus aris.' 
dumque ea miramur, subito stridor e tremendum 
impulsae patuere fores, maiorque repente 
lux oculos ferit. ante aras stat veste sacerdos 
efFulgens nivea, et populi concurrere certant. 695 

inde ubi mandatas effudi pectore voces, 
ecce intrat subitus vatem deus. alta sonoro, 
collisis trabibus, volvuntur murmura luco, 
^ piceis : niveis edd. 

" Silius seems to mean Thebes in Greece ; but Herodotus 
and others refer the legend to Thebes in Egypt. 

" A district of Epirus including the forest of Dodona. 

" Aegean. 

'^ A district of N. Africa : the inhabitants are called Mar 
maridae. 
164 



PUNICA, III. 671-698 

cold when the midday sun kindles the sky ; and the 
same water boils again in the darkness of night. 
Then that old man showed us the places which the 
god fills with his presence, and the fields that bear 
crops without the plough ; and thus he addressed us 
with cheerful heart ; * Bostar, bow down in prayer 
before these shady woods, this roof that soars to 
heaven, and these groves where Jupiter has trodden. 
For who upon earth has not heard of the gift of 
Jupiter — the two doves that perched on the lap of 
Thebe " ? One of these flew to the land of Chaonia ^ 
and there fills the oak of Dodona with prophetic 
utterance ; but the other bird of Venus sailed through 
the sky over the Carpathian " sea, and flew on dusky 
wings to the dusky people of Libya, and founded 
here the site for a temple. Here, where now you see 
the altar and the shady groves, the dove — marvellous 
to tell — chose out a leader of the flock, and stood 
between the horns of his fleecy head, and prophesied 
to the people of Marmarica.'^ Later, trees sprang 
suddenly from the earth, and a grove of ancient oaks ; 
and, as the branches now reach the skies, so they grew 
on their first day. Hence the grove is sacred and 
awful from ancient times, and is worshipped with 
steaming altars.' While we marvelled at his words, 
the doors suddenly flew open with a terrible crash, 
and a brighter light suddenly struck upon our eyes. 
Before the altar stood the priest, conspicuous in his 
snow-white robe, and the people thronged eagerly to 
the doors. Then when I had uttered the message 
with which I was charged, behold ! the god suddenly 
entered the breast of the prophet. The trees clashed 
against one another, and a deep humming noise 
passed through the resounding grove ; and then a 

165 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ac maior nota iam vox prorumpit in auras : 

* tenditis in Latium belloque agitare paratis 700 

Assaraci prolem, Libyes. coepta aspera cerno 

Gradivumque trucem currus iam scandere et atram 

in latus Hesperium flammam expirare furentes 

cornipedes multoque fluentia sanguine lora. 

tu, qui pugnarum eventus extremaque fati 705 

deposcis claroque ferox das vela labori, 

invade Aetoli ductoris lapyga campum ; 

Sidonios augebis avos nullique relinques 

altius Ausoniae penetrare in viscera gentis, 

donee victa tibi trepidabunt Dardana regna. 710 

nee ponet pubes umquam Saturnia curam, 

dum carpet superas in terris Hannibal auras.' " 

Talia portabat laetis oracula Bostar 
impleratque viros pugnae propioris amore. 

<• The Romans : see note to I. 566. 

^ This epithet, often applied to fire by Silius, may mean 
"terrible," "awful" rather than "black." 

« Italy. 

^ Diomede, the Homeric hero and King of Aetolia, after 
returning from Troy, settled in Apulia and there founded 
Argyripa, later called Arpi. The " lapygian plain " is the 



166 



PUNICA, III. 699-714 

voice, louder than any we know, burst forth into the 
air : ' Men of Libya, ye move against Latium, and 
prepare to make war against the seed of Assaracus.** 
I see a perilous enterprise ; I see fierce Mars even 
now mounting his chariot ; I see his furious steeds 
breathing forth black ^ flame against the Western 
land,^ and the blood that streams down from his 
reins. And thou, who seekest to know the issue of 
battle and the fated end, and boldly spreadest thy 
sail for the glorious adventure, advance against the 
lapygian plain of the Aetolian leader ^ : thou shalt 
glorify thy Phoenician ancestors, and no man after 
thee shall be able to pierce deeper into the vitals of 
the Ausonian race, so long as the Dardan ^ realm 
shall tremble beneath thy conquests. Nor shall the 
race of Saturn^ ever be free from fear, so long as 
Hannibal draws breath in the upper world.' " 

Such was the welcome oracle that Bostar brought 
back ; and he filled the army with desire for instant 
battle. 

site of the battle of Cannae : lapygia is part of Apulia in 
S. Italy. 

' Dardan = Trojan = Roman. ' The Romans. 



167 



LIBER QUARTUS 

ARGUMENT 

Rome is greatly alarmed by the news that Hannibal has 
reached Italy : but the Senate does not lose heart (1-88). 
Hannibal courts the Gauls of N. Italy. Scipio hurries 
back from Marseilles (39-55). Both generals address their 
soldiers and prepare for battle (56-100). An omen precedes 
the battle (101-134). The battle of the Ticinus (135-479). 
Scipio withdraws to the Trebia, and is joined by an army 
under Ti. Sempronius Longus (480-497). Hannibal forces 

Fama per Ausoniae turbatas spargitur urbes 
nubiferos montes et saxa minantia caelo 
accepisse iugum, Poenosque per invia vectos, 
aemulaque Herculei iactantem facta laboris 
descendisse ducem. diros canit improba motus 6 
et gliscit gressu volucrique citatior Euro 
terrificis quatit attonitas rumoribus arces. 
astruit auditis, docilis per inania rerum 
pascere rumorem vulgi, pavor. itur in acres 
bellorum raptim curas, subitusque per omnem 10 

Ausoniam Mavors strepit et ciet arnia virosque. 
pila novant, ac detersa rubigine saevus 
induitur ferro splendor, niveumque repostae 
instaurant galeae coni decus ; hasta iuvatur 
animento, revocantque novas fornace bipennes. 15 

" For this contrivance see note to i. 318. 
168 






BOOK IV 

ARGUMENT (continued) 

the Romans to fight (498-524). The battle of the Trehia 
(525-704). The consul G. Flaminius leads a fresh army 
into Etruria (705-721). Instigated by Juno^ Hannibal crosses 
the Apennines and encamps by Lake Trasimene (722-762). 
Envoys from Carthage inquire whether he consents to the 
immolation of his infant son : he refuses (763-829). 

Rumour, spreading through the dismayed cities 
of Ausonia, told that cloud-capped mountains and 
heaven-threatening peaks had been conquered, that 
the Carthaginians had passed over trackless wilds, and 
that Hannibal had descended from the Alps, boasting 
an exploit that rivalled the labour of Hercules. Mis- 
chievous Rumour prophesied dread commotions, and, 
growing as she went, and moving swifter than the 
Avings of the wind, shook the panic-stricken cities with 
alarming reports. Then fear, quick to feed the talk 
of the populace with falsehood, exaggerated what it 
heard. Men turned quickly to the fierce business of 
war, and Mars suddenly raised a clamour throughout 
Italy, summoning arms and men. They refashion 
their javelins ; the steel is cleansed of rust and puts 
on its cruel glitter ; and helmets, long laid by, renew 
the beauty of their snowy plumes ; the spear is 
strengthened by a thong," and axes are brought back 

169 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

conseritur tegimen laterum impenetrabile, multas 
passurus dextras atque irrita vulnera, thorax, 
pars arcu invigilant, domitat pars verbere anhelum 
cornipedem in gyros saxoque exasperat ensem. 
nee vero muris, quibus est luctata vetustas, 20 

ferre morantur opem ; subvectant saxa cavasque 
retractant turres, edit quas longior aetas. 
hinc tela accipiunt arces, ac robora portis 
et fidos certant obices accersere silva ; 
circumdant fossas. baud segnis cuncta magister 25 
praecipitat timor, ac vastis trepidatur in agris. 
deseruere larem ; portant cervicibus aegras 
attoniti matres ducentesque ultima fila 
grandaevos rapuere senes ; turn crine solute 
ante agitur coniux, dextra laevaque trahuntur 30 
parvi, non aequo coniitantes ordine, nati. 
sic vulgus ; traduntque metus, nee poscitur auctor. 
at patres, quamquam exterrent immania coepta 
inque sinu bellum, atque Alpes et pervia saxa 
decepere, tamen crudam contra aspera mentem 35 
et magnos tollunt animos : iuvat ire periclis 
ad decus et dextra memorandum condere nomen, 
quale dedit numquam rebus Fortuna secundis. 
Sed Libyae ductor tuto fovet agmina vallo, 
fessa gradum multoque gelu torpentia nervos ; 40 
solandique genus — laetis ostentat ad urbem 
170 



PUNICA, IV. 16-41 

reforged from the furnace. The cuirass that must 
parry many a thrust and unsuccessful blow is fitted 
together, to form a protection for the body that 
nothing can pierce. Some sit late, to mend the bow ; 
some tame the panting steed with the whip and make 
him wheel about ; and others whet the sword upon the 
stone. Nor are men slow to repair the walls that 
time has attacked ; they bring up stone in wagons 
and refashion the hollow towers eaten away by age. 
The citadels too are stored with missiles ; men hasten 
to bring from the forest oak-timber for their gates 
and trusty bars, and dig moats around. Fear, an 
active taskmaster, speeds all the work ; and terror is 
rife in the deserted fields. Men leave their homes ; 
panic-stricken, they carry ailing mothers upon their 
shoulders and drag along old men whose span of life 
is almost ended ; they drive their wives with dis- 
hevelled hair in front of them ; behind them come 
the little children with shorter steps, clinging to their 
father's right hand and left. Thus the people flee, 
handing on their fear to one another ; and no man 
asks the origin of the reports. But the Senate, 
though alarmed by the enemy at their doors and by 
his enormous enterpri&e, and disappointed by his 
passage over the Alps, nevertheless opposed the 
danger with unbroken spirit and high courage. 
They rejoice to march through peril to glory, 
and to build by strength of arm such a monu- 
ment of fame as Fortune has never granted to 
prosperity. 

But Hannibal nursed his army behind the protec- 
tion of a camp, while the men were weary of marching 
and their muscles were stiff with continued frost ; 
and, by way of consolation, he pointed out that the 

171 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

per campos superesse viam, Romamque sub ictu. 
at non et rerum curas consultaque belli 
stare probat, solusque nequit perferre quietem. 
armiferae quondam prisca inter tempora gentes 46 
Ausonium invasere latus sedesque beatas 
et metui peperere manu : mox impia bella 
Tarpeius pater et capti sensere Quirites. 
hos dum sollicitat donis et inania corda 
ac fluxam morum gentem fovet armaque iungit, 60 
iam consul, volucri pervectus litora classe, 
Scipio Phocaicis sese referebat ab oris ; 
ingentesque duces, pelagi terraeque laborem 
diversum emensos, propiora pericula vallo 
iungebant, magnaeque aderant primordia cladis. 66 
namque ut, collatis admoto consule castris, 
sustulerat Fortuna moras, signumque furoris 
accensae viso poscebant hoste cohortes : 
" debellata procul, quaecumque vocantur Hiberis," 
ingenti Tyrius numerosa per agmina ductor 60 

voce sonat ; non Pyrenen Rhodanumve ferocem 
iussa aspernatos, Rutulam fumasse Saguntum, 
raptum per Celtas iter, et, qua ponere gressum 
Amphitryoniadae fuerit labor, isse sub armis 
Poenorum turmas, equitemque per ardua vectum 66 
insultasse iugo, et fremuisse hinnitibus Alpes. 
Contra pulchra suos vocat ad discrimina consul : 



" Gauls made their appearance in Italy in the fifth century 
B.C. and gradually spread southwards ; in 390 b.c. they took 
and burnt Rome. Hannibal therefore hoped to lead the 
Gauls of N. Italy against Rome a second time. 

^ Massilia (Marseilles), founded by colonists from Phocaea 
in Asia Minor. P. Cornelius Scipio, consul in 218 b.c, sailed 
172 



I 



PUNICA, IV. 42-67 



rest of the march to Rome was over level ground, and 
that the city was at their mercy. But he did not 
approve of any pause in his own survey of affairs and 
plan of campaign ; and he alone could not endure 
inaction. Once before, in ancient days, armed tribes 
had invaded the happy land of Italy and caused terror 
by their might ; and soon the Tarpeian Father and 
the conquered Quirites felt the shock of sacrilegious 
warfare." But, while he was tempting the Gauls 
with bribes, working on the folly and fickleness of 
that people, and making an alliance with them, the 
consul Scipio was returning from the land of the 
Phocaeans,^ sailing with speed along the coast. Each 
mighty chief had completed his hard task, one on 
land and the other by sea ; and now a more instant 
danger brought their camps together ; and the be- 
ginnings of a great disaster were present. For when 
the consul arrived and the armies faced each other, 
and Fortune put an end to delays, the soldiers, roused 
by the sight of the enemy, demanded the signal for 
the furious assault. Then Hannibal's voice rose in a 
great shout over his mighty host : " We have subdued 
all that distant land that bears the name of Spain ; 
the Pyrenees and the proud Rhone have obeyed our 
bidding ; Rutulian Saguntum has gone up in smoke ; 
we forced a passage through Gaul ; and, where Her- 
cules found it hard to tread, the soldiers of Carthage 
have marched in arms ; our horsemen have ridden 
up the heights and trampled on the peaks, and the 
Alps have echoed with the snorting of our steeds." 

On the other side the consul summoned his men 
to danger and to glory : " Soldiers, your foes are 

back in haste from Marseilles on hearing that Hannibal 
had crossed the Alps : see xvi. 333 foil. 

VOL. I o 173 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

" hostem, miles, habes fractum ambustumque nivosis 
cautibus atque aegre torpentia membra trahentem. 
en age, qui sacros montes rupesque profundas 70 
transiluit, discat, quanto stat Celsius arce 
Herculea vallum, et maius sit, scandere colles, 
an vestros rupisse globos. det inania famae, 
dum magna fuso pugna retroque ruenti, 
qua ventum est, obstent Alpes. super ardua ductum 
hue egere dei, Latios ut sanguine fines 76 

imbueret, tellusque hostilis conderet ossa. 
scire libet, nova nunc nobis atque altera bellum 
Carthago, anne eadem mittat, quae, mersa sub aequor, 
Aegates inter vasto iacet obruta ponto." 80 

Haec ait atque agmen Ticini flectit ad undas. 
caeruleas Ticinus aquas et stagna vadoso 
perspicuus servat turbari nescia fundo 
ac nitidum viridi lente trahit amne liquorem. 
vix credas labi ; ripis tam mitis opacis, 85 

argutos inter volucrum certamine cantus, 
somniferam ducit lucenti gurgite lympham. 

lamque sub extremum noctis fugientibus umbris 
lux aderat, Somnusque suas confecerat horas — 
explorare locos consul coUisque propinqui 90 

ingenium, et campis quae sit natura, parabat. 
par studium Poeno similesque in pectore curae. 
ergo aderant, rapidis equitum comitantibus alis. 

Verum ubi commoto docuerunt pulvere nubes 



" He asserts that his camp is more impregnable than the 
city had been. 

" See note to i. 35. 

" The river beside which Hannibal won the first of his 
four great victories in Italy : a tributary of the Po. 
174 



I 



PUNICA. IV. 68-94 



enfeebled and frost-bitten by the Alpine snows, and 
drag their benumbed limbs with difficulty. They 
have crossed inviolate mountains and rocky chasms : 
well, let them learn how high our rampart « rises 
above the citadel of Saguntum, and which is the 
harder task — to climb hills or to break your ranks. 
Let them boast of their useless exploit — I care not, 
if only the Alps oppose them, when they have been 
routed in a great battle and are rushing back the way 
they came. Heaven brought them hither and led 
them over the heights, that they might dye the land 
of Latium with their blood and lay their bones in a 
hostile soil. I would fain know whether this war is 
launched by a new and different Carthage or by the 
same power which sank beneath the waves and now 
lies buried in the boundless deep near the Aegatian 
islands." ^ 

Thus he spoke, and turned his march aside to the 
river Ticinus.*' That crystal river keeps its pools of 
blue water free from all stain above its shallow bed, 
and slowly draws along its fair stream of greenish 
hue. One would scarce believe it was moving ; so 
softly along its shady banks, while the birds sing 
sweet in rivalry, it leads along in a shining flood its 
waters that tempt to sleep. 

And now night was ending and the darkness de- 
parting ; dawn was near and Sleep had completed 
his allotted hours, when the consul made ready to 
examine the ground and ascertain the character 
of the neighbouring hill and plains. Hannibal had 
the same intention, and the same anxiety filled his 
heart. So the two came near, escorted by speedy 
squadrons of horsemen. 

But when the rising cloud of dust showed that the 

175 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

hostem ferre gradum, et propius propiusque sonoro 95 

quadrupedum cornu tellus gemit, ac simul acer 

vincentum lituos hinnitus saevit equorum : 

" arma, viri, rapite arma, viri," dux instat uterque. 

ambobus velox virtus geminusque cupido 

laudis et ad pugnas Martemque insania concors. 100 

Haud mora, iam tantum campi dirimebat ab ictu, 
quantum impulsa valet comprendere lancea nodo, 
cum subitum liquida, non ullis nubibus, aethra 
augurium mentes oculosque ad sidera vertit. 
accipiter, medio tendens a limite solis, 105 

dilectas Veneri notasque ab honore Diones 
turbabat violentus aves atque unguibus idem, 
idem nunc rostro, duris nunc ictibus alae, 
ter quinas dederat saeva inter vulnera leto ; 
nee finis satiesve, novi sed sanguinis ardor 110 

gliscere, et urgebat trepidam iam caede priorum 
incertamque fugae, pluma labente, columbam, 
donee Phoebeo veniens lovis ales ab ortu 
in tenues tandem nubes dare terga coegit. 
tum victrix laetos signa ad Romana volatus 115 

convertit, prolesque ducis qua parte decora 
Scipio quassabat puerilibus arma lacertis, 
clangorem bis terque dedit, rostroque coruscae 
perstringens conum galeae, se reddidit astris. 

Exclamat Liger (huic superos sentire monentes 120 
ars fuit ac penna monstrare futura magistra) : 
" Poene, bis octonos I talis in finibus annos, 

" See note to i. 318. 

^ That is, from the South, the direction in which Carthage 
lay. 

" A name of Venus : the dove was her favourite bird. 

^ P. Cornelius Scipio Africanus, afterwards conqueror of 
Hannibal. 

176 



I 



PUNICA, IV. 95-122 

enemy were on the march, and the earth rang with 
the sound of hoofs coming ever nearer, and at the 
same time the trumpet was drowned by the eager 
neighing of the horses, then both leaders called 
upon their troops : "To arms, my men ! to arms 
with speed ! " Each had the same restless valour, 
and the same thirst for glory, and they were kindred 
spirits in their passion for war and battle. 

There was no delay. Soon the combatants were 
separated only by as much ground as a lance sped 
by a thong " can cover, when suddenly all eyes and 
thoughts were turned to the sky by a portent appear- 
ing in the clear and cloudless heavens. A hawk, 
flying from the sun in his meridian,^ was fiercely 
assailing a flock of the birds that are dear to Venus 
and owe their fame to the favour of Dione " ; 
now with talons, now with beak, and now with fierce 
buffeting of his wings, he had cruelly wounded and 
slain fifteen victims. Nor did he stop, satisfied : his 
eagerness for a fresh victim grew, and he pressed 
hard on the last dove, while she wavered in her flight 
with flagging wing, terrified by the slaughter of the 
rest. But now an eagle, coming up from the East, 
forced the hawk at last to fly for refuge to the 
unsubstantial clouds. Then the undefeated dove 
turned and flew gladly towards the Roman standards 
and the place where the general's son, Scipio,** 
was brandishing shining weapons with his childish 
strength ; then, when she had uttered her note thrice 
and pecked at the plume of the boy's glittering 
helmet, she went back to the sky. 

A cry came from Liger — he was skilled to perceive 
the warnings of heaven and to foretell the future by 
watching the birds : — ** Hannibal, you, like that bold 

177 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

audaci similis volucri, sectabere pubem 

Ausoniam multamque feres cum sanguine praedam. 

sed compesce minas ; renuit tibi Daunia regna 125 

armiger ecce lovis. nosco te, summe deorum. 

adsis o firmesque tuae, pater, alitis omen. 

nam tibi servantur (ni vano cassa volatu 

mentitur superos praepes) postrema subactae 

fata, puer, Libyae et mains Carthagine nomen." 130 

Contra laeta Bogus Tyrio canit omina regi, 
et faustum accipitrem caesasque in nube volucres 
Aeneadis cladem et Veneris portendere genti. 
tum dictis comitem contorquet primus in hostcs, 
ceu suadente deo et fatorum conscius, hastam. 135 
ilia volans patuli longe per inania campi 
ictum perdiderat spatio, ni, fusus habenas, 
dum primae decus affectat decerpere pugnae, 
obvia quadrupedis praeceps Catus ora tulisset. 
sic elanguescens ac iam casura, petitum 140 

invenit vulnus caedemque accepit ab hoste 
cornus et oblatae stetit inter tempora frontis. 

Incurrunt acies, magnoque fragore per aequor 
suspendunt cuncti frenis sublime reductos 
cornipedes ultroque ferunt : erectus in auras 145 

it sonipes, rapidaque volans per aperta procella, 
tenuia vix summo vestigia pulvere signat. 
Boiorum ante alias Crixo duce mobilis ala 

" The number of years corresponds to the number of 
pigeons. The young Scipio is the eagle. 

^ A common title of the eagle which was supposed to carry 
Jupiter's thunderbolts. 

" Africanus. 

^ Not, to our ears, a felicitous name for a prophet. 

* A Celtic tribe. 

178 



PUNICA, IV. 123-148 

bird, for twice eight years " shall pursue the men of 
Rome in the land of Italy, and shall carry off much 
booty and shed much blood. But restrain your 
threats ; for, lo ! the armour-bearer of Jupiter ^ with- 
holds from you the realm of Daunus. I recognize 
thy hand, O mightiest of the gods. Be present, O 
Father, and confirm the omen of thy bird ! For, 
unless the eagle is false to the gods and his flight 
means nothing, it is reserved for this boy to seal the 
fate of conquered Libya, and to gain a name " greater 
than that of Carthage." 

Bogus,'^ on the other hand, prophesied good fortune 
to Hannibal : the hawk was a favourable sign, and the 
slaughter of birds in the sky foretold disaster to the 
Aeneadae, the descendants of Venus. Then, to suit 
his words, he hurled the first spear against the foe, as 
if prompted by heaven and aware of coming events. 
The weapon flew far over the empty space of the 
spreading plain, and distance would have robbed it of 
its effect, but for the desire of Catus to reap glory in 
the first battle. He galloped forward with loosened 
rein and drove his horse's head to meet it ; and so 
the spear, when flagging in its course and ready to 
fall, found the mark it sought and received from the 
enemy power to kill ; it lodged between the temples 
of the brow that courted death. 

The armies advance at speed, and a mighty noise 
spreads over the field when all the riders raise their 
horses' heads high with the bridle and then urge 
them forward ; rearing aloft, the chargers then rush 
on and in their stormy flight over the plain leave 
hardly a trace of their hoof-prints on the dusty 
surface. A swift squadron of Boii,* commanded by 
Crixus, takes the lead, dashing against the front rank 

179 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

arietat in primos obicitque immania membra. 

ipse, tumens atavis, Brenni se stirpe ferebat 160 

Crixus et in titulos Capitolia capta trahebat. 

Tarpeioque iugo demens et vertice sacro 

pensantes aurum Celtas umbone gerebat. 

colla viri fulvo radiabant lactea torque, 

auro virgatae vestes, manicaeque rigebant 155 

ex auro, et simili vibrabat crista metallo. 

Sternitur impulsu vasto perculsa Camertum 
prima phalanx, spissaeque ruunt conferta per arma 
undae Boiorum ; sociata examina densent 
infandi Senones ; collisaque quadrupedantum 160 
pectoribus toto volvuntur corpora campo. 
arva natant, altusque virum cruor, altus equorum 
lubrica belligerae sorbet vestigia turmae. 
seminecum letum peragit gravis ungula pulsu 
et circumvolitans taetros e sanguine rores 165 

spargit humo miserisque suo lavit arma cruore. 
spicula prima, puer, tumidi, Tyrrhene, Pelori 
purpureo moriens victricia sanguine tinguis. 
nam tibi, dum stimulas cornu atque in proelia mentes 
accendis renovasque viros ad vulnera cantu, 170 

haesit barbaricum sub anhelo gutture telum 
et clausit raucum letali vulnere murmur, 
at sonus, extremo morientis fusus ab ore, 
flexa pererravit mutis iam cornua labris. 



« For this Gallic chief see note to i. 624-625. 

'' A town in Umbria, whose inhabitants were called 
Camertes. 

" So called because the capture of Rome in 390 b.c. was 
effected by that tribe. 

^ The names of the common soldiers were no doubt in- 
vented by Silius. He gives the name of Tyrrhenus to a 
trumpeter, because this epithet is often applied to the trumpet 
180 



PUNICA, IV. 149-174 



K: of Romans, and blocking the way with their giant 
B bodies. Crixus himself, proud of his ancestry, 
S claimed descent from Brennus,** and the taking of the 
«^ Capitol was one of his titles to fame. Poor fool ! he 
displayed on his shield the Gauls weighing the gold 
on the sacred eminence of the Tarpeian hill. A golden 
collar glittered on his snow-white neck ; his garments 
were striped with gold, with gold his gauntlets were 
stiff, and his helmet-crest sparkled with the same 
metal. 

Their fearful charge struck and overthrew the men 
of Camerium ^ in the front rank, and the Boii rushed 
over the close-packed spears like crowding waves ; 
and the accursed" Senones joined them and swelled 
their ranks ; and men's bodies, shattered by the 
chests of the horses, tumble over all the plain. The 
ground is drenched ; pools of blood, from men and 
horses, swallow up the slippery footprints of the fight- 
ing squadron. The heavy hoof kills outright those 
who are half-dead already ; and the horses, as they 
ride round, scatter on the ground a hideous dew of 
blood, and the armour of the poor vtretches is drenched 
with their own gore. The first victorious javelin 
was thrown by proud Pelorus, and stained by the red 
life-blood of young Tyrrhenus.** For, while he blew 
his horn, to stir the soldiers' hearts and kindle their 
courage for battle, and to make them face fresh 
wounds by his music, the barbarian's weapon stuck 
fast in his windpipe and stopped with a deadly 
wound the hoarse murmur of the horn. Yet the last 
music that came from his dying lips trickled through 
the curved instrument, after the lips themselves were 

which was invented by the Tyrrheni (the Greek name for the 
Etruscans or Tuscans). 

VOL. I G 2 181 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Crixus Picentem Laurumque, nee eminus ambo, 176 

sed gladio Laurum ; Picenti rasilis hasta, 

ripis lecta Padi, letum tulit. avia namque 

dum petit ae laevo meditatur fallere gyro, 

hasta viri femur et pariter per nuda volantis 

ilia sedit equi et geminam dedit horrida mortem. 180 

idem, sanguinea Venuli cervice revellens, 

sternit praecipitem tepido te, Farfare, tele 

et te sub gelido nutritum, Tulle, Velino, 

egregium Ausoniae decus ac memorabile nomen, 

si dent fata moras, aut servent foedera Poeni ; 185 

turn Remulum atque, olim celeberrima nomina bello, 

Tiburtes Magios Hispellatemque Metaurum 

et Clanium, dubia meditatus cuspide vulnus. 

Nee locus est Tyriis belli pugnaeve, sed omnem 
Celticus implevit campum furor ; irrita nuUi 190 

spicula torquentur, statque omne in corpore ferrum. 
hie inter trepidos immane Quirinius audens, 
cui fugere ignotum atque invicta mente placebat 
rebus in adversis exceptum pectore letum, 
cuspide flammat equum ac dispergit gaesa lacerto, 195 
si reserare viam atque ad regem rumpere ferro 
detur iter ; certusque necis petit omnibus ausis, 
quod nequeat sentire, decus. cadit inguine fosso 
Teutalus, et vasto quatitur sub pondere tellus. 
occumbit Sarmens, flavam qui ponere victor 200 

caesariem crinemque tibi, Gradive, vovebat 



" The name of a river and lake in the Sabine country. 
* In which case there would have been no war. 



182 



PUNICA, IV. 175-201 

dumb. Crixus slew Picens and Laurus, but not both 
from a distance ; for Laurus fell by the sword, but 
Picens was slain by a polished spear, once cut on 
the banks of the Po. For, when Picens tried to turn 
aside and sought to elude his foe by wheehng to the 
left, the terrible spear pierced at the same time the 
rider's thigh and the unprotected belly of the flying 
steed, inflicting a double death. Crixus also plucked 
his weapon from the gory neck of Venulus and, while 
it was still warm, laid low Farfarus with it, and Tullus 
who was reared near cold Velinus « — a proud boast 
of Italy he would have been and a famous name, if 
the Fates had granted him longer Hfe or the Cartha- 
ginians had adhered to the treaty.^ Next Crixus slew 
Remulus, and warriors whose names were once 
famous in arms — the Magii of Tibur, Metaurus of 
Hispellum, and Clanius, — and aimed his blow with a 
spear which doubted whom to strike. 

The Carthaginians had no room for fighting, because 
the furious Gauls filled all the field ; not one of them 
hurled his weapon in vain ; every missile was planted 
in the body of a foe. And now Quirinius, to whom 
flight was a thing unknown, and whose dauntless 
heart chose death with wounds in front, when the 
battle went against them, showed mighty daring, 
while those around him trembled. He spurred his 
horse with his spear-point and hurled javelins with 
his strong arm, hoping to clear a passage and burst 
his way by the steel to Crixus. Assured of death, he 
sought with might and main the glory he could never 
hope to enjoy. Teutalus, pierced in the groin, fell 
before him, and the earth shook under his huge 
weight ; and Sarmens next, who vowed, if victorious, 
to offer to Mars his yellow locks — the hair that rivalled 

183 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

auro certantem et rutilum sub vertice nodum. 

sed Parcae intonsa non exaudita voventem 

ad manes traxere coma ; per Candida membra 

it fumans cruor, et tellus perfusa rubescit. 205 

at, non tardatus iaculo occurrente, Ligaunus 

irruit adversumque viro rotat obvius ensem 

et ferit insurgens, humero qua brachia lenti 

annectunt nervi, decisaque vulnere laeva^ 

laxatis paulum moribunda pependit habenis ; 210 

dumque micans tremulo conatu lora retemptat, 

flectentem assuetos imitatur nescia frenos. 

demetit aversi Vosegus tum colla, iubaque 

suspensam portans galeam atque inclusa perempti 

ora viri, patrio divos clamore salutat. 215 

Dumque ea Gallorum populi dant funera campo, 
accitas propere castris in proelia consul 
raptabat turmas primusque ruebat in hostem, 
candenti sublimis equo. trahit undique lectum 
divitis Ausoniae iuvenem, Marsosque Coramque 220 
Laurentumque decus iaculatoremque Sabellum 
et Gradivicolam celso de colle Tudertem 
indutosque simul gentilia lina Faliscos, 
quosque sub Herculeis taciturno flumine muris 
pomifera arva creant Anienicolae Catilli, 225 

quosque in praegelidis duratos Hernica rivis 
mittebant saxa et nebulosi rura Casini. 
ibant in Martem terrae dominantis alumni, 

* laeva Ruperti : dextra edd. 

" The knot in which the Gauls tied up their long hair is 
often mentioned by Latin writers. 

* The men of Tibur (now Tivoli) are meant. Hercules had 
a famous temple there. The city was said to have been 
founded by Catillus and Tiburtus, sons of Amphiaraus. The 
district was famous for its fruit. 
184 



PUNICA, IV. 202-228 



r 

M gold — and the ruddy topknot ^ on the crowTi of his 
K head. But his vow was unheard, and the Fates drew 
■| him down to the shades below with his locks unshorn ; 
Ir the steaming blood drenched his white limbs, and 
the soaked earth turned red. But now Ligaunus, 
undeterred by the javelin that met him, rushed on 
and whirled his sword full in face of Quirinius, rising 
to his full height as he struck ; and the left arm, 
where the tough muscles attach the Hmb to the 
shoulder, was cut off by the blow ; for a space it hung 
dying over the slackened reins, and the quivering 
hand, while it felt again with feeble effort for the 
bridle, imitated unwittingly the familiar gesture of 
the horseman. Then Vosegus cut off his head from 
behind, and carried off the helmet hanging by its 
plume with the dead man's head inside it, and hailed 
his gods with the war-cry of his nation. 

While the Gallic tribes dealt death thus over the 
field, the consul summoned his troops in hot haste 
from their camp, and charged foremost against the 
foe, borne aloft on his white steed. Behind him came 
the soldiers, chosen from every part of fertile Italy — 
Marsians and men of Cora, the pride of Laurentum 
and the Sabine throwers of javelins, the hill-dwellers 
of Tuder who worship Mars, and with them the men 
of Falerii who wear the flaxen stuff of their country ; 
the men who were bred by the orchards of Catillus, 
dwellers by the Anio, where the stream runs silent 
under the walls of Hercules ^ ; and the men sent forth 
by the misty fields of Casinum and by the Hernician 
rocks, where the people are made hardy by their icy 
streams. Thus the children of the ruling land '^ went 
forth to battle ; but heaven had condemned them, 
« Italy. 

185 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

damnati superis nee iam reditura iuventus. 
Seipio, qua medius pugnae vorat agmina vertex, 230 
infert cornipedem atque, instinctus strage suorum, 
inferias caesis mactat Labarumque Padumque 
et Caunum et multo vix fusum vulnere Breucum 
Gorgoneoque Larum torquentem lumina vultu. 
occidis et tristi, pugnax Lepontice, fato ; 235 

nam dum frena ferox obiecto corpore prensat 
atque aequat celsus residentis consulis ora 
ipse pedes, frontem in mediam gravis incidit ensis, 
et divisum humeris iacuit caput, at Batus, amens 
qui luctatur equo parmaque incursibus obstat, 240 
ictu quadrupedis fulva porrectus harena 
elisa incussis amisit calcibus ora. 
perfurit Ausonius turbata per aequora ductor, 
ceu Geticus Boreas, totum cum sustulit imo 
Icarium fundo victor mare ; navita vasto 245 

iactatur sparsus, lacerata classe, profundo, 
cunctaque canenti perfunditur aequore Cyclas. 
Crixus, ut in tenui spes exiguumque salutis, 
armat contemptu mentem necis ; horrida barba 
sanguinea rutilat spuma, rictusque furentis 250 

albet, et afFuso squalent a pulvere crines. 
invadit Tarium, vicino consule pugnas 
miscentem, saevisque virum circumtonat armis. 
volvitur ille solo ; nam pronum efFundit in armos 
fata extrema ferens abies, rapiturque pavore 255 

tractus equi, vinctis connexa ad cingula membris. 

" That part of the Aegean Sea into which Icarus fell was 
named after him. 

186 



I 



PUNICA, IV. 229-256 

and the army was doomed never to return. Scipio 
urged his steed to where the central whirlpool of 
battle was swallowing up the fighters ; then, in- 
furiated by the carnage of his men, he slaughtered, 
as offerings to the dead, Labarus and Padus and 
Caunus and Brucus, scarcely laid low with many a 
wound, and Larus, as he rolled his eyes with the stare 
of a Gorgon. Cruel too was the doom by which brave 
Leponticus fell. For when he boldly threw himself 
in the consul's way, catching hold of the reins, and, 
though on foot, reaching up to the level of the 
rider's face, down came the heavy sword on the centre 
of his forehead, and the head, split in two, fell upon 
the shoulders. Then Batus, while he fought madly 
against Scipio 's horse and warded off attacks with 
his shield, was stretched on the yellow sand by a 
blow from the steed, and his face was crushed out 
of recognition by the stamping hoofs. Thus the 
Roman general raged over the troubled plain, Uke the 
Thracian North-wind, when in his might he has stirred 
up from the bottom the whole Icarian <» sea ; ships 
are wrecked, and seamen scattered and tossed on the 
mighty deep ; and all the Cyclades are drenched with 
the foaming flood. 

With slender hopes and little chance of safety, 
Crixus steeled his heart with contempt of death : his 
bristling beard was red with a bloody foam, foam 
flew from his open mouth in his fury, and his hair was 
rough with a coating of dust. He attacked Tarius, 
who was fighting beside Scipio, and thundered round 
him with furious assault. Tarius rolled upon the 
ground ; for the death-dealing spear drove him for- 
ward upon his horse's neck, and he was dragged along 
by the frightened beast, with his feet caught in the 

187 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

longa cruor sparse linquit vestigia campo, 
et tremulos cuspis ductus in pulvere signat. 
laudabat leti iuvenem egregiosque parabat 
ulcisci consul manes, cum dira per aures 260 

vox venit, et Crixum ferri clamoribus audit, 
baud notum vultu. surgit violentior ira 
comminus atque oculos optato in corpore figit. 
tum, stimulans grato plausae cervicis honore, 
cornipedem alloquitur : " vulgum Martemque mino- 
rem 265 

mox, Gargane ; vocant super! ad maiora. videsne, 
quantus eat Crixus ? iam nunc tibi praemia pono 
ilium Sidonio fulgentem ardore tapeta, 
barbaricum decus, et fulvis donabere frenis." 
sic fatus, magno Crixum clamore ciebat 270 

in pugnam ac vacuo poscebat proelia campo. 
nee detractantem par ira accenderat hostem. 
ut iussae cessere retro spatiumque dederunt 
hinc atque hinc alae, medio stetit aequore pugna. 
quantus Phlegraeis Telluris alumnus in arvis 275 

movit signa Mimas caelumque exterruit armis, 
tantus semifero Crixus sub pectore murmur 
torquet et horrisonis ululatibus erigit iras : 
" nemone incensae captaeque superfuit urbi, 
ut tibi, quas Brenni populus ferremus in arma, 280 
narraret, dextras ? disce en nunc," inquit et una 
contorquet nodis et obusto robore diram 
vel portas quassare trabem. sonat ilia tremendum 
ac, nimio iactu servasse improvida campi 
distantis spatium, propiorem trans volat hostem. 285 

" Phlegra, afterwards called Pallene, in Macedonia was 
the place where Mimas and the other Titans fought against 
the gods. 

" See note to i. 624. 
188 



PUNICA, IV. 257-285 

encircling girth. His blood sprinkled the plain and 
left long traces there ; and the spear printed uneven 
marks on the sand. Scipio praised the young man's 
death, and was preparing to avenge his noble spirit, 
when a dreadful sound struck his ear, and he knew by 
the shouting that Crixus, whose face he did not know, 
was coming. His wrath grew fiercer as they got 
closer, and he fastened his gaze upon the coveted 
victim. Then encouraging his steed, and patting 
his neck to please and honour him, Scipio spoke thus : 
" Garganus, leave till later the common herd of lesser 
foes ; the gods summon us to greater things. Do you 
see the mighty Crixus coming ? Even now I promise to 
reward you with yonder saddle-cloth, glittering with 
Tyrian purple — an adornment fit for the barbarian ; 
and I shall give you the reins of gold." Thus Scipio 
spoke, and summoned Crixus to battle with a great 
shout, and demanded an open space for the duel. 
His enemy, fired with equal ardour, proved no lag- 
gard. When the squadrons on both sides fell back as 
they were bidden and left a clear space, the combat- 
ants took stand in the centre of the field. Like the Giant 
Mimas, the son of Earth, when he fought on the fields 
of Phlegra " and terrified Heaven, so the gigantic 
Crixus sent forth a cry from his brutish breast and 
roused his fury with hideous yells. " When Rome was 
taken and burnt,^ was no survivor left, to tell you the 
strength of arm that the tribe of Brennus showed in 
battle ? Well, learn it now ! " As he spoke, he 
threw his spear, whose knotted strength and fire- 
hardened point were fit to batter down even a city 
gate. With a dreadful sound it flew ; but it went 
too far, misjudging the distance to be crossed, and 
the foe was too close ; so it passed over the consul's 

189 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

cui consul : ** ferre haec umbris proavoque memento, 

quam procul occumbas Tarpeia sede, tibique 

baud licitum saeri Capitolia cernere mentis." 

turn nodo cursuque levi simul adiuvat hast am, 

dignum mole viri nisus. fugit ilia per or as 290 

multiplicis lini subtextaque tegmina nervis 

atque altum tota metitur cuspide pectus. 

procumbit lata porrectus in arva ruina, 

et percussa gemit tellus ingentibus armis. 

baud aliter, structo Tyrrhena ad litora saxo, 295 

pugnatura fretis subter caecisque procellis, 

pila, immane sonans, impingitur ardua ponto : 

immugit Nereus, divisaque caerula pulsu 

illisum accipiunt irata sub aequora montem. 

ductore amisso pedibus se credere Celtae ; 300 

una spes anima tantusque pependerat ardor. 

ac veluti summo venator densa Picano 

cum lustra exagitat spissisque cubilibus atram 

immittit passim dumosa per invia pestem — 

dum tacitas vires et flammam colligit ignis, 305 

nigranti piceus sensim caligine vertex 

volvitur et pingui contorquet nubila fumo ; 

mox subita in toto lucent incendia monte — 

fit sonitus, fugere ferae, fugere volucres, 

atque ima longe trepidant in valle iuvencae. 310 

At Mago, ut vertisse globos primumque laborem, 
qui solus genti est, cassum videt, arma suorum 



" For breastplates made of linen see iii. 272. 
'' Silius refers to the houses built by rich Romans on the 
Campanian coast : these often projected over the sea. 
" A mountain in Apulia. 
<* Hannibal's brother. 

190 



PUNICA, IV. 286-312 

head. But to him said Scipio : " Remember to tell the 
shades below and Brennus, your ancestor, how far 
from the Tarpeian temple you fell, and that you were 
not permitted to behold the sacred hill of the Capitol." 
Then he added force to his spear by the thong and 
by the trotting of his horse, and threw it with an 
effort worthy of his huge antagonist. Through the 
many folds of linen « it sped and through the shield 
fashioned of hide, and pierced with the length of its 
point his inmost breast. Down he sank, stretching 
far over the field in his overthrow, and the earth 
groaned, smitten by his gigantic armour. Even so, 
when masons build on the Tuscan shore, ^ they hurl 
a mass of stone from a height upon the water with a 
mighty noise, to battle with the sea and the invisible 
currents below : the sea roars ; and the deep, 
parted by the blow, receives the huge mass as it 
crashes beneath the angry water. Deprived of their 
leader, the Gauls had recourse to flight ; all their 
confidence and all their valour depended upon a 
single life. So the hunter on the top of Mount 
Picanus '^ harries the haunts of wild beasts, and all 
through the untrodden thickets spreads fell destruc- 
tion in their crowded lairs ; while the fire is silently 
gathering strength and flame, the tops of the pine- 
trees are gradually wrapt in black darkness, and the 
thick smoke goes eddying to the sky ; but soon flames 
blaze out suddenly over the whole mountain : a 
crackling is heard, the wild beasts flee, the birds flee, 
and the heifers are startled in the lowland valleys far 
away. 

When Mago ^ saw that the ranks of Gaul had 
turned back and that their first effort had failed (and 
that people is incapable of a second), he summoned 

191 



I 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ac patrium in pugnas equitem vocat : undique nudi 
assiliunt frenis infrenatique manipli. 
nunc Itali in tergum versis referuntur habenis, 315 
nunc rursus Tyrias retro pavor avehit alas ; 
aut illi dextros lunatis flexibus orbes, 
aut illi laevos sinuant in cornua gyros ; 
texunt alterno glomerata volumina cursu 
atque eadem refuga cedentes arte resolvunt. 320 

hac pontum vice, ubi exercet discordia ventos, 
fert Boreas Eurusque refert molemque profundi 
nunc hue alterno, nunc illuc, flamine gestant. 
Advolat aurato praefulgens murice ductor 
Sidonius, circaque Metus Terrorque Furorque. 325 
isque ubi Callaici radiantem tegminis orbem 
extulit et magno percussit lumine campos, 
spes virtusque cadunt, trepidaque a mente recedit 
vertere terga pudor ; nee leti cura decori 
sed fugere infixum est, terraeque optantur hiatus. 330 
sic, ubi Caucaseis tigris se protulit antris, 
linquuntur campi, et tutas petit omne latebras 
turbatum insano vultu pecus ; ilia pererrat 
desertas victrix valles, iamque ora reducto 
paulatim nudat rictu, ut praesentia mandens 335 

corpora, et immani stragem meditatur hiatu. 
non ilium Metabus, non ilium celsior Ufens 
evasere tamen, quamvis hie alite planta, 
hie ope cornipedis totis ferretur habenis. 
nam Metabum ad manes demisit cuspide fulgens 340 

« See note to i. 215 foil. 

'' Silius seems here to describe not a real battle of cavalry, 
but the Troia, a sham fight between boys armed and 
mounted : there is a full account of it in Virgil {Aen. v. 545 
foil.) : and Silius has imitated Virgil. 

" For Hannibal's shield see ii. 395 foil. 
192 



PUNICA, IV. 313-340 

to battle his own men and the cavalry of his country. 
From all sides they rode up, men who used bridles 
and men who used none." At one time the Romans 
turn their reins and retreat ; at another, panic carries 
back the squadrons of Carthage ; either one force 
wheels to the right in crescent-shaped curves, or the 
other turns with a left wheel to outflank the foe ; 
riding forwards and then back, they weave their 
massed moving ranks and then unweave them in the 
skill of their retreat.*' With such alternation, when 
the winds are at variance, the North-wind drives the 
sea one way and the East-wind another, and the two 
with alternate blasts carry the mighty deep in different 
directions. 

Now the Carthaginian leader flew to the spot, 
gleaming in purple and gold, and with him were Fear 
and Terror and Madness. When he raised up the 
beamy circle of his Gallician shield ^ and threw a great 
light over the plains, then hope and courage fled, and 
the shame of retreat was forgotten by fearful hearts ; 
none cared for a noble death, but all were resolved 
to fly and prayed to the earth to swallow them. So, 
when a tigress comes forth from her den in the 
Caucasus, the plains are deserted, and every beast, 
terrified by her furious mien, seeks a safe hiding- 
place ; she wanders victorious through the deserted 
valleys, and presently draws back her lips and slowly 
bares her teeth, as if tearing actual bodies, and devises 
carnage with wide-gaping jaws. Metabus could not 
escape Hannibal, nor could Ufens for all his greater 
stature, though the last ran with winged feet, and 
the other, with his horse to help him, galloped at 
full speed. For the spear with shining point sent 
Metabus to the lower world ; and the sword slew 

193 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

fraxinus, Ufentem collapsum poplite caeso 
ensis obit laudemque pedum cum sanguine ademit. 
iamque dedit leto Sthenium Laurumque domoque 
Collinum gelida, viridi quem Fucinus antro 
nutrierat dederatque lacum tramittere nando. 345 
fit socius leti coniecta Massicus hasta, 
vitiferi sacro generatus vertice montis 
et Liris nutritus aquis, qui fronte quieta 
dissimulat cursum ac, nullo mutabilis imbri, 
perstringit tacitas gemmanti gurgite ripas. 350 

exoritur rabies caedum, ac vix tela furori 
sufficiunt ; teritur iunctis umbonibus umbo, 
pesque pedem premit, et nutantes casside cristae 
hostilem tremulo pulsant conamine frontem. 

Tergemini primam ante aciem sacra proelia fratres 
miscebant, quos Ledaeo Sidonia Barce 356 

Xanthippo felix uteri inter bella crearat. 
res Graiae ductorque parens ac nobile Amyclae 
nomen et iniectus Spartanis colla catenis 
Regulus inflabant veteri praecordia fama. 360 

Marte probare genus factisque Lacona parentem 
ardebant gelidosque dehinc invisere montes 
Taygeta et tandem bellis innare subactis 
Eurotan patrium ritusque videre Lycurgi. 
sed Spartam penetrare deus fratresque negarunt 365 
Ausonii, totidem numero, quos miserat altis 



«» Among the Apennine Hills, in the country of the Marsi. 

* Mount Massicus in Campania, famous for its vines. 

* See note to ii. 304. The " wars " are the First Punic 
War, in which Regulus was taken prisoner. Leda was a 
legendary queen of Sparta : hence Ledaean = Spartan. 

194> 



PUNICA, IV. 341-366 

Ufens when he fell hamstrung and so lost his life and 
his repute for speed together. Next Hannibal slew 
Sthenius and Laurus and Collinus, the son of a cool 
country, whom Lake Fucinus <* had reared in its 
moss-covered grotto and had suffered to swim across 
its waters. From these Massicus was not divided in 
death, when the spear struck him — Massicus who 
was born on the sacred top of the vine-clad hill,^ and 
drank the water of the Liris, a placid stream that 
conceals its flow, and, never affected by rain, brushes 
its silent banks with sparkling wave. And now began 
a furious slaughter, and the madness of the combat- 
ants could scarce find weapons ; shield met and 
clashed against shield ; foot pressed on foot, and the 
nodding helmet-plume waved as it struck the enemy's 
brow. 

Three brothers, all of an age, fought fiercely in the 
first rank. They were the sons of Barce, a Cartha- 
ginian, whom their fertile mother bore, during the 
wars, to Xanthippus," the Spartan. Their hearts 
swelled with pride for the past — the victory of Greece 
when their father led the host, the famous name of 
Amyclae,*^ and the fetters that the Spartans fastened 
upon the neck of Regulus. They burned to prove 
by deeds of valour their descent from a Laconian 
sire ; and then they were fain to visit the cold 
heights of Taygetus, and at last, when war was over, 
to swim in their native Eurotas,* and see the laws 
of Lycurgus. But they never went to Sparta ; for 
Heaven and three Italian brothers prevented them. 
The three were of the same age and the same spirit ; 

** An equivalent for Sparta. 

* Taygetus is a mountain and Eurotas a river, both near 
Sparta. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Egeriae genitos immitis Aricia lucis, 
aetatis mentisque pares ; at non dabat ultra 
Clotho dura lacus aramque videre Dianae. 
namque ut in adversos, impact! turbine pugnae, 370 
Eumachus et Critias et laetus nomine patris 
Xanthippus iunxere gradus, ceu bella leones 
inter se furibunda movent et murmure anhelo 
squalentes campos ac longa mapalia complent — 
omnis in occultas rupes atque avia pernix 375 

Maurus saxa fugit, coniuxque Libyssa profuso, 
vagitum cohibens, suspendit ab ubere natos ; 
illi dira fremunt, perfractaque in ore cruento 
ossa sonant, pugnantque feris sub dentibus artus — 
baud secus Egeriae pubes, hinc Virbius acer, 380 

bine Capys, assiliunt paribusque Albanus in armis. 
subsidens paulum perfossa proruit alvo 
Albanum Critias (ast illi cuncta repente 
implerunt clipeum miserando viscera lapsu), 
Eumachus inde Capyn ; sed tota mole tenebat 385 
ceu fixum membris tegimen ; tamen improbus ensis 
annexam parmae decidit vulnere laevam, 
inque suo pressa est non reddens tegmina nisu 
infelix manus atque haesit labentibus armis. 
ultima restabat fusis iam palma duobus 390 

Virbius. huic trepidos simulanti ducere gressus 
Xanthippus gladio, rigida cadit Eumachus hasta, 
et tandem aequatae geminato funere pugnae. 
inde alterna viris transegit pectora mucro, 
inque vicem erepta posuerunt proelia vita. 395 



" The spring of the nymph Egeria was near Aricia ; and 
here were the grove and temple of Diana, where the priest 
obtained his office by killing his predecessor : hence the 
epithet " ruthless." 
196 



PUNICA, IV. 367-395 

they were bred in the tall groves of Egeria, and 
ruthless Aricia ° sent them forth ; but stern Fate 
suffered them not to look again on Diana's lake ^ and 
temple. For Eumachus and Critias, with Xanthippus, 
proud to bear his father's name, were swept on by the 
tide of battle, and confronted the Romans. Even so, 
when lions fight one another with fury and fill the 
desert plains and distant huts with their hoarse roar- 
ing, every Moor hastens to remote rocks and un- 
trodden crags, and the African mother raises her 
babes to her streaming breast, to still their cries ; 
the beasts roar terribly, the broken bones crack in 
their blood-stained jaws, and the limbs ^ still fight on, 
in the grip of the cruel teeth. Even so Egeria's sons, 
brave Virbius and Capys and their comrade Albanus, 
sprang forward. Critias, crouching down a moment, 
stabbed Albanus in the belly and overthrew him ; and 
at once his bowels all gushed out and filled his shield 
— a piteous sight. Next Eumachus attacked Capys ; 
and though he clutched his shield with all his strength 
as though it were fastened to his body, yet a cruel 
sword-cut lopped off the left arm as it clung to the 
shield ; and the luckless hand, refusing to surrender 
the buckler, still kept its grip and clung to the armour 
as it fell. Two were now slain, and Virbius alone was 
left to conquer. He, while shamming flight, slew 
Xanthippus with his sword and Eumachus with his 
unbending spear. So at last, when these two were 
slain, the combat was on equal terms. Then each 
ran his sword through the other's breast, and they 
ended the combat by mutual slaughter. Fortunate 

* The Lake of Nemi. 

" These must be the limbs of the lion, still fighting while 
being: eaten ; but the phrase is strange. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

felices leti, pietas quos addidit umbris ! 
optabunt similes venientia saecula fratres, 
aeternumque decus memori celebrabitur aevo, 
si modo ferre diem serosque videre nepotes 
carmina nostra valent, nee famam invidit Apollo. 400 

At consul toto palantes aequore turmas 
voce tenet, dum voce viget : " quo signa refertis ? 
quis vos heu vobis pavor abstulit ? horrida primi 
si sors visa loci pugnaeque lacessere frontem, 
post me state, viri, et pulsa formidine tantum 405 
aspicite ! has dextras capti genuere parentes. 
quo fugitis ? quae spes victis ? Alpesne petemus ? 
ipsam turrigero portantem vertice muros 
credite summissas Romam nunc tendere palmas. 
natorum passim raptus caedemque parentum 410 
Vestalesque focos extingui sanguine cerno. 
hoc arcete nefas ! " postquam inter talia crebro 
clamore obtusae crassoque a pulvere fauces, 
hinc laeva frenos, hinc dextra corripit arma 
et latum obiectat pectus strictumque minatur 415 
nunc sibi, nunc trepidis, ni restent, comminus ensem. 

Quas acies alto genitor dum spectat Olympo, 
consulis egregii movere pericula mentem. 
Gradivum vocat et patrio sic ore profatur : 
** magnanimi, me nate, viri, ni bella capessis, 420 
haud dubie extremus terret labor ; eripe pugnae 
ardentem oblitumque sui dulcedine caedum. 

" He means that the Carthaginians had been conquered 
in the First Punic War, a generation ago. 

'' Personifications of cities often wear this kind of crown. 
" He threatened to commit suicide if they disgraced him. 

198 



PUNICA, IV. 396-422 

in death were they, whom love of kin and country 
sent down to join the dead ! Coming ages will pray 
for brethren like them, and their undying fame shall 
be for ever remembered, if only my verse has power 
to endure and see a distant posterity, and if Apollo 
has not begrudged me fame. 

When the ranks were straggling over all the plain, 
Scipio's voice (while his voice lasted) stopped them : 
" Whither do you carry back your standards ? What 
panic has robbed you of yourselves ? If it seemed a 
dreadful thing to stand in the front rank and challenge 
the van of the foe, then take your stand behind me, 
soldiers, dismiss your fears, and merely look on ! 
Yonder warriors are the sons of our prisoners.*^ 
Whither do you fly ? What hope have you, if defeated? 
Shall we make for the Alps ? Believe that Rome in 
person, with her walls and her head crowned with 
towers ,** is now stretching out her hands in supplica- 
tion. I see all our children carried captive, our 
parents slain, and the fires of Vesta quenched witli 
blood. Keep this sacrilege far away ! " Thus he 
shouted again and again, till the effort and the thick 
dust choked his voice ; then he seized his reins with 
the left hand and his sword with the right, and ex- 
posed his broad breast to the foe, threatening to use 
his bare blade at once, now against himself" and now 
against the fugitives, if they refused to stand. 

When the Father of Heaven beheld this battle 
from the height of Olympus, his heart was moved by 
the danger of the noble consul. He summoned Mars 
and spoke thus to his son : " Son, unless thou takest 
part in the strife, this will surely be the last fight of 
yonder hero ; and I fear for him. Snatch him away 
from the battle ; so fiery is he, and he forgets 

199 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

siste ducem Libyae ; nam plus petit improbus uno 
consulis exitio, tota quam strage cadentum. 
praeterea, cernis, tenerae qui proelia dextrae 425 
iam credit puer atque annos transcendere factis 
molitur longumque putat pubescere bello, 
te duce primitias pugnae, te magna magistro 
audeat, et primum hoc vincat, servasse parentem." 

Haec rerum sator. at Mavors in proelia currus 430 
Odrysia tellure vocat ; tum fulminis atri 
spargentem flammas clipeum galeamque deorum 
baud ulli facilem multoque labore Cyclopum 
sudatum thoraca capit quassatque per auras 
Titanum bello satiatam sanguinis hastam 435 

atque implet curru campos. exercitus una 
Irarum Eumenidesque simul letique cruenti 
innumerae facies, frenisque operata regendis 
quadriiugos atro stimulat Bellona flagello. 
fertur ab immenso tempestas horrida caelo 440 

nigrantesque globos et turbida nubila torquens 
involvit terras ; quatitur Saturnia sedes 
ingressu tremefacta dei ; ripasque relinquit, 
audito curru, fontique relabitur amnis. 

Ductorem Ausonium telis Garamantica pubes 445 
cinxerat et Tyrio regi nova dona parabat, 
armorum spolium ac rorantia consulis ora. 
stabat Fortunae non cedere certus et acri 
mole retorquebat, crudescens caedibus, hastas, 

" The consul's son, P. Cornelius Scipio, the elder Africanus. 

^ Thrace. 

* The vast size of the chariot is implied, 

^ Italy : see note to i. 70. 

200 



PUNICA, IV. 423-449 

himself in the joy of slaughter. Stop Hannibal ; for 
the insatiate African hopes more from the death 
of Scipio than from all the heaps of slain. Thou 
seest, moreover, that boy " who already relies on his 
youthful arm for battle, and aims at prowess beyond 
his years, and thinks that ripeness for war is slow to 
come. Thou must be his leader when he wins his 
maiden spurs ; thou must teach him to aspire to great 
deeds ; and let his first victory be the rescue of his 
sire." 

Thus spoke the Father of all things. And straight- 
way Mars summoned his chariot from the land of the 
Odrysae.^ Then he took the shield that scatters 
flames of terrible lightning ; he put on the helmet 
too heavy for any other of the gods to wear, and the 
breastplate which cost the Cyclopes who wrought it 
much sweat ; he brandished aloft the spear that had 
its fill of blood in the war with the Titans ; and he 
filled the fields with his chariot.'' With him went 
his train — Wrath accompanied by the Furies, and 
countless forms of bloody death ; and Bellona, busy 
\\'ith the reins, urged on the four coursers with her 
fatal scourge. A fearful storm burst from the bound- 
less sky and shrouded the earth, driving dark masses 
of stormy cloud. The land of Saturn ^ trembled and 
shook at the approach of the god ; and the Ticinus left 
its banks at the sound of the chariot and flowed back- 
wards to its source. 

The Garamantian spearmen had made a ring round 
the Roman general ; they sought to give Hannibal 
what he had never got before — the dripping head of 
a consul, and his armour as booty. Scipio stood firm, 
resolved never to yield to Fortune ; made fiercer 
by slaughter, he hurled back spear for spear with 

201 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

iamque suo, iamque hostili perfusa cruore 450 

membra madent, cecidere iubae, gyroque per orbem 
artato, Garamas iaculis propioribus instat 
et librat saeva f coniectum|^ cuspide ferrum. 
Hie puer ut patrio defixum corpore telum 
conspexit, maduere genae, subitoque trementem 455 
corripuit pallor, gemitumque ad sidera rupit. 
bis conatus erat praecurrere fata parentis, 
conversa in semet dextra ; bis transtulit iras 
in Poenos Mavors. fertur per tela, per hostes 
intrepidus puer et Gradivum passibus aequat. 460 
continue cessere globi, latusque repente 
apparet campo limes, metit agmina tectus 
caelesti clipeo et sternit super arma iacentum 
corporaque auctorem teli multasque paternos 
ante oculos animas, optata piacula, mactat. 465 

tunc, rapta propere duris ex ossibus hasta, 
innixum cervice ferens humeroque parentem, 
emicat. attonitae tanta ad spectacula turmae 
tela tenent, ceditque loco Libys asper, et omnis 
late cedit Hiber ; pietasque insignis et aetas 470 

belligeris fecit miranda silentia campis. 
tum celso e curru Mavors : " Carthaginis arces 
exscindes," inquit, " Tyriosque ad foedera coges. 
nulla tamen longo tanta exorietur in aevo 
lux tibi, care puer : macte, o macte indole sacra, 475 
vera lovis proles ! et adhuc maiora supersunt ; 
sed nequeunt meliora dari." tum nubila Mavors 

^ The word obelized seems to he corrupt. 

" For Scipio's parentage see xiii. 634 foil. 

^ It is doubtful whether Scipio was really saved by his 
son : Livy preserves a contemporary tradition, that a 
ligurian slave was the rescuer. 
202 



PUNICA, IV. 450-477 

vehement effort. By now his Hmbs were drenched 
with his own blood and the enemy's ; the plume fell 
from his helmet ; the Garamantes, drawing a closer 
circle round him, pressed nearer with their weapons ; 
and one launched a dart that pierced him with its 
cruel point. 

When the boy saw the weapon lodged in his 
father's body, tears wetted his cheeks, he trembled 
and turned pale in a moment, and his loud cry went 
up to heaven. Twice he sought to lay violent hands 
on himself and die before his father ; but twice Mars 
turned his fury against the Carthaginians instead. 
Boldly the boy rushed on through missiles and through 
enemies, keeping pace with Mars himself. At once 
the ranks gave way, and a wide passage was seen 
suddenly upon the plain. Protected by the god's 
shield, he mowed down the host ; over the armour 
and bodies of the slain he laid low the thrower of 
the dart, and many a life — the atoning sacrifice he 
longed for — does he immolate before his father's eyes. 
Then in haste he drew the spear from the tough bone, 
and sped away, bearing his father supported on his 
neck and shoulders. Amazed at such a sight, the 
soldiers lowered their weapons ; every fierce Libyan 
and every Spaniard everywhere gave ground : his 
youth and his noble defence of his father brought 
about a wondrous silence on the field of battle. 
Then Mars spoke from his lofty car : " Thou shalt 
sack the citadel of Carthage, and force her people to 
make peace. But the glory of this day surpasses all 
that a long life will offer thee, dear boy. Blessings 
on thy glorious promise, true child of Jupiter ° ! 
Greater things are yet to come, but a better gift 
Heaven cannot give." ^ The sun had now completed 

203 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

aetheraque, emenso terras iam sole, capessit ; 
et fessas acies castris clausere tenebrae. 

Condebat noctem devexo Cynthia curru 480 

fraternis afflata rotis, et ab aequore Eoo 
surgebant roseae media inter caerula flamrnae. 
at consul, tristes campos Poenisque secundam 
planitiem metuens, Trebiam collesque petebat. 
iamque dies rapti cursu navoque labore, 485 

et medio abruptus fluitabat in amne solutis 
pons vinclis, qui Dardanium travexerat agmen, 
Eridani rapidas aderat cum Poenus ad undas. 
dumque vada et molles aditus per devia flexo 
circuitu petit et stagni languentia quaerit, 490 

interdum rapta vicinis saltibus alno 
flumineam texit, qua travehat agmina, classem : 
ecce aderat Trebiaeque simul vicina tenebat, 
Trinacrio accitus per caerula longa Peloro, 
Gracchorum proles, consul, gens inclita magno 495 
atque animosa viro, multusque in imagine claris 
praefulgebat avus titulis bellique domique. 

Nee Poeni, positis trans amnem in gramine castris, 
deerant ; namque animos stimulabant prospera 

rerum 
increpitansque super ductor : " quis tertius urbi 500 
iam superest consul ? quaenam altera restat in armis 
Sicania ? en omnes Latiae Daunique nepotum 

<» The moon : her " brother " is the sun. 

* The Carthaginian cavahy was especially formidable. 
TheTrebia is an Apennine tributary of the Po. 

<= The other consul in this year (218 b.c), Ti. Sem- 
pronius Longus. The Gracchi also belonged to the Sem- 
pronian gens. 

^ The consul had just brought reinforcements from Sicily ; 

204 



PUNICA, IV. 478-502 

his journey over the earth, and Mars betook himself 
to the clouds and the sky ; and darkness confined 
the weary armies to their camps. 

Cynthia ° with downward course was ending the 
night, while her brother's coursers breathed fire upon 
her ; and from the eastern wave roseate lights ascended 
amid the blue of heaven. Then Scipio, fearing the 
fatal plain and the level ground so favourable to the 
Carthaginians,^ made for the Trebia and the hills. 
The days flew by, as they marched and toiled busily ; 
and, when Hannibal reached the swift stream of the 
Po, the bridge by which the Roman army had crossed 
was broken down and floating in midstream, with 
its cables cut. While Hannibal marched round by 
devious paths, seeking a ford and an easy approach 
and a peaceful stretch of the river, meantime he 
felled with speed the trees that grew hard by, and 
built barges, to take his army across the stream. And 
now, behold ! a consul, a scion of the Gracchi," arrived 
and encamped near his colleague beside the Trebia. 
In answer to a summons he had made the long voyage 
from Pelorus in Sicily. The family of this great man 
was famous for its high spirit ; and, among the busts 
of his ancestors, many were conspicuous for dis- 
tinctions won both in war and peace. 

The Carthaginians, after pitching their camp in 
the fields across the river, were not backward either. 
For they were encouraged by success and by their 
leader, who taunted the Romans thus : " Has Rome 
yet a third consul in reserve, or a second Sicily <^ 
to fight her battles ? No ! all the fighting men of 
Latium and all the descendants of Daunus are here 

and Hannibal assumes that no further help can come from 
there. 

VOL. I H 205 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

convenere manus. feriant nunc foedera mecum 

ductores Italum ac leges et pacta reposcant. 

at tu, donata tela inter Martia luce, 505 

infelix animae, sic, sic vivasque tuoque 

des iterum hanc laudem nato ; nee fine sub aevi 

oppetere in bello detur, cum fata vocabunt. 

pugnantem cecidisse meum est." haec personat 

ardens. 
inde levl iaculo Massylumque impiger alis 610 

castra sub ipsa datis irritat et elicit hostem. 

Nee Latius vallo miles debere salutem 
fas putat, aut clausas pulsari cuspide portas. 
erumpunt, cunctisque prior volat aggere aperto 
degener baud Gracchis consul, quatit aura comantes 
cassidis Auruncae cristas, humeroque refulget 516 
sanguinei patrium saguli decus. agmina magno 
respectans clamore vocat, quaque obvia densos 
artat turba globos, rumpens iter aequore fertur. 
ut torrens celsi praeceps e vertice Pindi 520 

cum sonitu ruit in campos magnoque fragore 
avulsum montis volvit latus ; obvia passim 
armenta immanesque ferae silvaeque trahuntur ; 
spumea saxosis clamat convallibus unda. 

Non, mihi Maeoniae redeat si gloria linguae, 525 
centenasque pater det Phoebus fundere voces, 
tot caedes proferre queam, quot dextera magni 
consulis, aut contra Tyriae furor edidit irae. 

<* Scipio. 

'' " Auruncan " seems to mean " Roman " or " Italian." 
The Aurunci were an ancient people of Campania. 

" A mountain in Thrace. 

•*" Maeonian " = " Homeric " : Maeonia is an ancient 
name of Lydia, one of the countries which claimed to be 
Homer's birthplace : Maeonides, a common name for 
Homer in all Latin poetry, is used by Milton also. 



PUNICA, IV. 503-528 

assembled. Now let the Roman leaders make a 
treaty with me ; now let them insist upon their 
contracts and covenants ! And you," whose life was 
spared in the battle, life that was no boon, so, so may 
you live on and again confer this glory on your son ! 
When life ends and Fate summons you, may death 
in battle be denied you ! To fall fighting belongs 
to Hannibal." Thus he cried in his fury. Then, 
impatient of delay, he sent hght-armed Massylian 
squadrons to the verge of the Roman camp, to pro- 
voke the foe and draw him forth. 

The Roman soldiers too were ashamed to owe their 
safety to their stockade, or to let the spears strike 
against the closed gates of the camp. They sallied 
forth ; and, when the rampart was levelled, the consul, 
worthy descendant of the Gracchi, rushed out before 
them all. The wind blew out the horse-hair plume 
of his Auruncan ^ helmet, and the scarlet cloak that 
had graced his ancestors was conspicuous on his 
shoulder. Looking back on the ranks, he summoned 
them with a loud voice ; and wherever a mass of foe- 
men in close formation met him, he burst his way 
through and sped along the plain. Even so a roaring 
torrent falls headlong from the summit of Pindus '^ to 
the plain ; with a mighty noise it tears away a side 
of the mountain and rolls it down ; all the cattle in 
its path, the wild beasts, and the forests, are swept 
along ; and the foaming waters are loud in the rocky 
valleys. 

Even if I could reproduce the glorious voice of 
Homer,^ and if Father Phoebus granted me to speak 
with a hundred tongues, I could not set forth all the 
victims slain by the arm of the great consul or by the 
furious rage of his Carthaginian opponent. Murranus 

207 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Murranum ductor Libyae, ductorque Phalantum 
Ausonius, gnaros belli veteresque laborum, 630 

alter in alterius fuderunt comminus ore. 
monte procelloso Murranum miserat Anxur, 
Tritonis niveo te sacra, Phalante, profundo. 
ut primum insigni fulsit velamine consul, 
quamquam orbus partem visus unoque Cupencus 535 
lumine sufficiens bellis, citat improbus hastam 
et summae figit tremebundam margine parmae. 
cui consul, namque ira coquit : " pone, improbe, 

quicquid 
restat in ore fero et truncata front e relucet." 
sic ait, intorquens derecto turbine robur, 640 

et dirum tota tramittit cuspide lumen, 
nee levior dextra generatus Hamilcare saevit ; 
huic cadit infelix niveis Varenus in armis, 
Mevanas Varenus, arat cui divitis uber 
campi Fulginia, et patulis Clitumnus in arvis 645 

candentes gelido perfundit flumine tauros. 
sed tristes superi, atque ingrata maxima cura 
victima Tarpeio frustra nutrita Tonanti. 
instat Hiber levis et levior discurrere Maurus. 
hinc pila, hinc Libycae certant subtexere cornus 660 
densa nube polum ; quantumque interiacet aequi 
ad ripas campi, tantum vibrantia condunt 
tela ; nee artatis locus est in morte cadendi. 
Allius, Argyripa Daunique profectus ab arvis 



<* Also called Tarracina, a city built on a hill in the 
Volscian country. 

* See note to iii. 322. 

" Hannibal. 

^ Mevania, a town in Umbria, stands on the river Clitum- 
nus, whose water was supposed to turn white the cattle that 



I 



PUNICA, IV. 629-554 

and Phalantus were hardy veterans both ; but Hanni- 
bal slew the first in close combat and Gracchus the 
second, each general fighting in full view of his rival. 
Murranus came from the wind-swept height of 
Anxur,«and Phalantus from the stainless waters of the 
sacred lake, Tritonis.* Cupencus had lost an eye, but 
found the other enough to fight with ; and, when he 
sighted Gracchus, conspicuous in the garb of his 
rank, he boldly hurled his spear, and planted it quiver- 
ing in the topmost rim of the consul's shield. Boil- 
ing with rage, Gracchus cried to him : " Rash man, 
leave here the sight that still remains in that fierce 
face and gleams from that mutilated brow." With 
these words he threw his spear with a strong straight 
cast, and the whole point passed through the threat- 
ening eye. Nor was the son of Hamilcar '^ less for- 
midable in the fray : he slew luckless Varenus who 
wore white armour and came from Mevania ; for him 
fertile Fulginia ploughed her rich soil, where the 
Clitumnus, flowing through the spreading fields, 
bathes the white bulls in its cool stream. '^ But Heaven 
was cruel, and Varenus got no recompense for the 
stately victim he had bred up with fruitless care for 
the Thunderer of the Capitol. The Spaniards were 
nimble in attack, and the Moors yet more nimble 
in their movements. Roman javelins and African 
spears vied in covering the sky with a thick cloud, 
and all the level ground, as far as the river-banks, was 
hidden by the hurtling missiles ; and in that close- 
})acked throng the dead had no room to fall. 

The hunter Allius had come from Argyripa * in the 

drank of it ; and one of these white bulls was regularly 
sacrificed in the course of a Roman " triumph." 
« Also called Arpi, a city in Apulia. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

venator, rudibus iaculis et lapyge campum 555 

persultabat equo, mediosque invectus in hostes, 
Apula non vana torquebat spicula dextra. 
huic horret thorax Samnitis pellibus ursae, 
et galea annosi vallatur dentibus apri. 
verum ubi turbantem, solo ceu lustra pererret 560 
in nemore aut agitet Gargano terga ferarum, 
hinc Mago, hinc saevus pariter videre Maharbal, 
ut subigente fame diversis rupibus ursi 
invadunt trepidum gemina inter proelia taurum, 
nee partem praedae patitur furor — baud secus acer 
hinc atque hinc iaculo devolvitur Allius acto. 566 

it stridens per utrumque latus Maurusia taxus ; 
obvia tum medio sonuerunt spicula corde, 
incertumque fuit, letum cui cederet hastae. 
et iam, dispersis Romana per agmina signis, 570 

palantes agit ad ripas, miserabile, Poenus 
impellens trepidos fluvioque immergere certat. 

Tum Trebia infausto nova proelia gurgite fessis 
inchoat ac precibus lunonis suscitat undas. 
haurit subsidens fugientum corpora tellus 575 

infidaque soli frustrata voragine sorbet, 
nee niti lentoque datur convellere limo 
mersa pedum penitus vestigia ; labe tenaci 
haerent devincti gressus, resolutaque ripa 
implicat aut caeca prosternit fraude paludis. 5S0 

iamque alius super atque alius per lubrica surgens. 



" The high wooded promontory that runs out from Apulia 
into the Adriatic. 
210 



« 



PUNICA, IV. 555-581 

land of Daimus, and now rode over the plain ; his 
horse was of Apulian breed and his weapons rude ; 
yet he charged the centre of the enemy and threw 
his native darts with no erring aim. His breastplate 
was the bristly hide of a Samnite bear, and his helmet 
was protected by tusks taken from an aged wild boar. 
He fought as if he were straying through the coverts 
in some lonely wood, or pursuing flying beasts on 
Mount Garganus ° ; but when Mago and fierce 
Maharbal, each from his own place, sighted him at 
the same moment, then, as two bears, driven by 
hunger, come down from opposite cliffs, to fall upon 
a bull affrighted by his two antagonists, and their 
rage will not suffer them to divide the spoil — even so 
brave Allius was overthrown by the javelins that 
came from both his foes. The Moorish yew-wood 
passed hissing through both his sides ; the points 
met and clashed in the centre of his heart ; and it was 
doubtful which of the two spears could claim his death. 
By now the Roman standards were scattered over 
the battle-field ; and Hannibal drove the frightened 
stragglers towards the bank — O pitiful sight ! — push- 
ing them on and striving to drown them in the river. 
Then, obedient to Juno's petition, the Trebia, that 
river of ill omen, began a fresh assault upon the weary 
Romans, and roused up its waters. The bank fell in 
and swallowed up the bodies of the fugitives, and 
sucked them in by the treacherous quagmire of the 
soil. Nor could they move on and extract their feet 
from the deep and sticky mud. For the clinging mire 
held them prisoners ; the crumbling bank entangled 
them, or the swampy ground trapped them without 
warning and overthrew them. One after another 
they struggled up the slippery sides, each trying to 

211 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

dum sibi quisque viam per inextricabile litus 

praeripit et putri luctatur caespite, lapsi 

occumbunt seseque sua pressere ruina. 

ille, celer nandi, iamiamque apprendere tuta 585 

dum parat et celso connisus corpore prensat 

gramina summa manu liquidisque emergit ab undis, 

contorta ripae pendens affigitur hasta. 

hie hostem, orbatus telo, complectitur ulnis 

luctantemque vado permixta morte coercet. 590 

mille simul leti facies. Ligus occidit arvis ; 

sed proiecta viri lymphis fluvialibus ora 

sanguineum hauserunt longis singultibus amnem. 

enabat tandem medio vix gurgite pulcher 

Irpinus sociumque manus clamore vocabat, 595 

cum rapidis illatus aquis et vulnere multo 

impulit asper equus fessumque sub aequora mersit. 

Accumulat clades subito conspecta p»r undas 
vis elephantorum turrito concita dorso. 
namque vadis rapitur praeceps, ceu proruta cautes 600 
avulsi mentis, Trebiamque insueta timent-em 
prae se pectore agit spumantique incubat alveo. 
explorant adversa viros, perque aspera duro 
nititur ad laudem virtus interrita clivo. 
namque inhonoratam Fibrenus perdere mortem 605 
et famae nudam impatiens : " spectabimur," inquit, 
" nee, Fortuna, meum condes sub gurgite letum. 
experiar, sitne in terris, domitare quod ensis 
non queat Ausonius, Tyrrhenave permeet hasta.'* 

** A striking instance of the way in which Silius uses 
epithets : English seems to require that both " Ausonian '* 
and " Tuscan " should here be rendered by " Roman." 
212 



PUNICA, IV. 582-609 

outstrip the rest along the pathless bank, and battling 
with the crumbling turf; but they slipped and fell, 
buried under the rubbish that fell with them. One 
of them, a speedy swimmer, struggled for a safe 
hand-hold and forced his way upward, to grasp the 
turf at the top ; but, just as he emerged from the 
water, a spear was hurled and pinned him to the 
bank to which he was clinging. Another, having no 
weapon left, clasped a foe in his arms and held him 
fast as he tried to swim, till they were drowned to- 
gether. Death showed itself in a thousand shapes. 
Though Ligus fell on land, his head hung over the 
river and drank in the blood-stained water with long 
sobbing gasps. After much effort comely Irpinus had 
almost swum ashore from mid-stream ; he was shout- 
ing to his comrades for a helping hand, when a horse, 
infuriated by wounds, was carried down by the swift 
current and struck him down and submerged the 
weary swimmer. 

The crowning disaster came suddenly in sight, 
when a troop of elephants, with towers upon their 
backs, were driven into the river. For they rushed 
headlong through the water, like a cliff falling down 
from a shattered mountain. They drove the Trebia, 
dreading dangers unknown till now, before them with 
their forequarters, and lay down above the foaming 
channel. Manhood is tested by trial, and valour 
climbs unterrified the rocky path and difficult ascent 
that leads to glory. So Fibrenus disdained to die to 
no purpose, unhonoured and unsung. " The eyes of 
men shall behold me," he cried, " and Fortune shall 
not hide my death beneath the flood. I shall find 
out whether there is aught on earth which a Roman 
sword cannot master or a Roman spear" cannot 
VOL. I H 2 21S 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

turn iacit assurgens dextroque in lumine sistit 610 
spicula saeva ferae telumque in vulnere linquit. 
stridore horrisono penetrantem cuspidis ictum 
belua prosequitur laceramque cruore profuso 
attollit frontem ac lapso dat terga magistro. 
turn vero invadunt iaculis crebraque sagitta, 615 

ausi iam sperare necem, immensosque per armos 
et laterum extensus venit atra cuspide vulnus ; 
Stat multa in tergo et nigranti lancea dorso, 
ac silvam ingentem, concusso corpore, vibrat, 
donee, consumptis longo certamine telis, 620 

concidit et clausit magna vada pressa ruina. 

Ecce per adversum, quamquam tardata morantur 
vulnere membra virum, subit implacabilis amnem 
Scipio et innumeris infestat caedibus hostem. 
corporibus clipeisque simul galeisque cadentum 625 | 
contegitur Trebia, et vix cernere linquitur undas. 
Mazaeus iaculo, Gestar prosternitur ense ; 
tum Pelopeus avis Cyrenes incola Thelgon. 
huic torquet rapido correptum e gurgite pilum 
et, quantum longo ferri tenuata rigor e 630 

procedit cuspis, per hiantia transigit ora. 
pulsati ligno sonuere in vulnere dentes. 
nee leto quaesita quies : turgentia membra 
Eridano Trebia, Eridanus dedit aequoris undis. 
tu quoque, Thapse, cadis, tumulo post fata negato. 635 
214 



PUNICA, IV. 610-635 

pierce." Rising to his full height he threw his cruel 
shaft and planted it in the right eye of one great 
beast ; and the weapon remained in the wound. 
When the point of the spear went in, the monster 
met it with a hideous trumpeting ; then it raised its 
wounded and bleeding head, threw its rider, and 
turned in flight. But now the Romans, daring at 
last to hope that they might kill it, assailed it with 
darts and showers of arrows. Soon the vast expanse 
of its shoulders and sides was covered with wounds 
from the cruel steel ; many a lance stuck in its dusky 
back and rump ; and, when it shook itself, the huge 
forest of missiles waved. At last, when the long 
contest had used up all their weapons, it fell, and the 
huge carcass blocked the stream beneath it. 

But see ! Scipio appears on the opposite bank. 
Though his limbs, hampered by his wound, cannot 
move freely, yet he enters the river, and ruthlessly 
deals out death to countless foes. The Trebia was 
covered over with close-packed bodies, and shields 
and helmets of the fallen, till it was scarce 
possible to see the water. He overthrew Mazaeus 
with a javelin and Gestar with his sword, and next 
Thelgon, a native of Cyrene whose ancestors came 
from the Peloponnese.<* At him Scipio hurled a 
javelin which he had caught up from the running 
stream, and drove the whole length of the tapering 
iron point through his open mouth ; and the shaft 
made the teeth rattle in the wound. Nor did death 
bring him peace ; for the Trebia carried the swollen 
corpse to the Po, and the Po to the sea. Thapsus 
also fell, and a grave was denied to him after death. 

• See note to ill. 252. 

215 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

quid domus Hesperidum aut luci iuvere dearum, 
fulvos aurifera servantes arbore ramos ? 

Intumuit Trebia et stagnis se sustulit imis 
iamque ferox totum propellit gurgite fontem 
atque omnes torquet vires ; furit unda sonoris 640 
verticibus, sequiturque novus cum murmure torrens. 
sensit et accensa ductor violentius ira : 
** magnas, o Trebia, et meritas mihi, perfide, poenas 
exsolves," inquit : " lacerum per Gallica rivis 
dispergam rura atque amnis tibi nomina demam ; 645 
quoque aperis te fonte, premam ; nee tangere ripas 
illabique Pado dabitur. quaenam ista repente 
Sidonium, infelix, rabies te reddidit amnem ? " 

Talia iactantem consurgens agger aquarum 
impulit atque humeros curvato gurgite pressit. 650 
arduus adversa mole incurrentibus undis 
stat ductor clipeoque ruentem sustulit amnem. 
necnon a tergo fluctus stridente procella 
spumeus irrorat summas aspergine cristas, 
ire vadis stabilemque vetat defigere gressum 655 

subducta tellure deus ; percussaque longe 
raucum saxa sonant ; undaeque ad bella parentis 
excitae pugnant, et ripas perdidit amnis. 
tum madidos crines et glauca fronde revinctum 
attollit cum voce caput : " poenasne superbas 660 
insuper et nomen Trebiae delere minaris, 

<» Thapsus came from the far West, where the Hesperides 
guarded the Golden Apples : see ill. 285. 

" The Trebia, being an Italian river, was treacherous when 
it helped the Carthaginians. 

" To the modern reader this personification of a river 
seems strange. But Silius is here imitating Homer, in whose 
poem the river Scamander finds a voice and reproaches 
Achilles in just the same terms as the Trebia uses here {Iliad 
xxi. 214 foil.). 
216 



PUNICA, IV. 636-661 

What availed him the home of the Hesperides, or the 
grove where the goddesses guard the ruddy branches 
of their gold-bearing tree ? " 

And now the Trebia swelled high, and rose from its 
lowest depths, driving all its waters fiercely forward, 
and exerting all its might ; the stream raged with 
noisy eddies, and a fresh flood came roaring after. 
When Scipio felt this, his rage grew fiercer, and he 
" cried : " O Trebia, you shall suffer as you deserve, 
and pay dearly for your treachery ^ : I shall divide 
your stream and make it flow in separate channels 
through the land of Gaul ; and I shall rob you of the 
name of river, and stop the spring from which you 
rise ; and never shall you be able to reach the banks 
of the Po and flow into its stream. What sudden 
madness has turned you, wretched Trebia, into a 
Carthaginian river ? " 

As Scipio hurled these taunts, the rising wall of 
water smote him and weighed down his shoulders 
with its arching flood. The general, standing erect, 
matched his strength against the onset of the waves, 
and held up the rushing river with his shield. But 
behind him also the foaming flood with roaring blast 
bedewed with its spray the topmost plume of his 
helmet. The river-god, withdrawing the soil from 
beneath his feet, prevented him from wading through 
the water and finding firm footing ; the boulders 
were smitten and sent afar a hollow sound ; the waves, 
called forth to battle by their sire, joined the fray ; 
and the banks of the river were lost to sight. Then 
the river-god raised his dripping locks and his head 
crowned with blue-green weed, and spoke thus '^ : 
" Arrogant man and enemy of my realm, do you 
threaten to punish me further and to wipe out my 

217 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

o regnis inimice meis ? quot corpora porto 
dextra fusa tua ! clipeis galeisque virorum, 
quos mactas, artatus iter cursumque reliqui. 
caede, vides, stagna alta rubent retroque feruntur. 665 
addemodumdextraeaut campis incumbe propinquis.* 
Haec, Venere adiuncta, tumulo spectabat ab alto 
Mulciber, obscurae tectus caligine nubis. 
ingravat ad caelum sublatis Scipio palmis : 
" di patrii, quorum auspiciis stat Dardana Roma, 670 
talin me leto tanta inter proelia nuper 
servastis ? fortine animam banc exscindere dextra 
indignum est visum ? redde o me, nate, periclis, 
redde hosti ! liceat bellanti accersere mortem, 
quam patriae fratrique probem." tum percita dictis 
ingemuit Venus et rapidas direxit in amnem 676 

coniugis invicti vires, agit undique flammas 
dispersus ripis ignis multosque per annos 
nutritas fluvio populatur fervidus umbras, 
uritur omne nemus, lucosque efFusus in altos 680 

immissis crepitat victor Vulcanus habenis. 
iamque ambus ta comas abies, iam pinus et alni ; 
iam, solo restans trunco, dimisit in altum 
populus assuetas ramis habitare volucres. 
flamma vorax imo penitus de gurgite tractos 685 

absorbet latices, saevoque urgente vapore 
siccus inarescit ripis cruor. horrida late 
scinditur in rimas et hiatu rupta dehiscit 
tellus, ac stagnis altae sedere favillae. 

<• He regrets that his son had saved his life. 

* Gnaeus Scipio, consul in 222 b.c, who was now fighting 
with success in Spain. 

" Vulcan, the fire-god. 
218 



PUNICA, IV. 662-689 

name ? How many corpses I carry, slain by your 
arm ! So packed am I with the shields and helmets 
of your victims that I have left my proper channel ; 
you see how my deep pools, red with carnage, are 
flowing backwards. Put a limit to your deeds of 
arms, or else attack the plains hard by." 

Vulcan was looking on meanwhile from a high 
hill, hidden in the darkness of a black cloud, with 
Venus at his side. Then Scipio raised his hands to 
heaven with a bitter cry : " Ye gods of our country, 
by whose favour Dardan Rome is preserved, did ye 
save my life just now in the fierce battle for such a 
death as this ? Did I seem unworthy to end my life 
by a soldier's arm ? Give me back, my son, to danger, 
give me back to the foe ! * Suffer me to fight and 
to welcome such a death as my country and my 
brother ^ would approve." Then Venus groaned, 
moved by his prayer, and turned against the river 
the devouring strength of her invincible consort." 
Fire spread and burned all over the banks and fiercely 
devoured the trees that the river had nourished for 
many a year. All the copses were burnt up, and the 
victorious flame crackled as it spread in full career to 
the high groves. Soon the foliage of the fir-tree was 
seared, and the leaves of pine and alder ; soon 
nothing was left of the poplar but the trunk, and 
the tree sent off into the sky the birds that were 
wont to nest on its branches. The devouring flame 
sucked the moisture from the very bottom of the 
stream and licked it up ; and the blood upon the 
banks was dried up and caked by the fierce heat. 
The rugged earth everywhere split up and cracked, 
showing yawning chasms ; and ashes settled in heaps 
in the bed of the river. 

219 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Miratur pater aeternos cessare repente 690 

Eridanus cursus ; Nympharumque intima maestus 
implevit chorus attonitis ululatibus antra, 
ter caput ambustum conantem attollere iacta 
lampade Vulcanus mersit fumantibus undis, 
ter correpta dei crines nudavit harundo. 695 

turn demum admissae voces et vota precantis, 
orantique datum ripas servare priores. 
ac tandem a Trebia revocavit Scipio fessas 
munitum in collem, Graccho comitante, cohortes. 
at Poenus, multo fluvium veneratus honore, 700 

gramineas undis statuit socialibus aras, 
nescius heu, quanto superi maiora moverent, 
et quos Ausoniae luctus, Thrasymenne, parares. 

Boiorum nuper populos turbaverat armis 
Flaminius, facilisque viro tum gloria belli, 705 

corde levem atque astus inopem contundere gentem. 
sed labor baud idem Tyrio certasse tyranno. 
hunc, laevis urbi genitum ad fat alia damna 
ominibus, parat imperio Saturnia fesso 
ductorem dignumque virum veniente ruina. 710 

inde ubi prima dies iuris, clavumque regendae 
invasit patriae, ac sub nutu castra fuere, 
ut pelagi rudis et pontum tractare per artem 
nescius, accepit miserae si iura carinae, 
ventorum tenet ipse vicem cunctisque procellis 715 
dat iactare ratem : fertur vaga gurgite puppis, 
ipsius in scopulos dextra impellente magistri. 
ergo agitur raptis praeceps exercitus armis 

" The Po, like all other rivers and lakes, had Nymphs of 
its own. 

" The Trebia. 

* C. Flaminius, a popular leader, had been consul in 
223 B.C. and now held the office again in 214 : in his first 
220 



PUNICA, IV. 690-718 

Father Eridanus marvelled when his immemorial 
stream suddenly ceased to flow ; and the sorrowing 
company of Nymphs " filled their inmost caves with 
anguished cries. Thrice he strove to lift up his 
scorched head, and thrice Vulcan threw a firebrand 
which sent him down below the steaming water ; and 
thrice the reeds caught fire and left the god's head 
bare. At last the voice of his petition was heard, 
and his prayer was granted — that he might keep his 
former banks. And at length Scipio, accompanied 
by Gracchus, recalled his weary troops from the 
Trebia to a fortified height. But Hannibal paid high 
honour to the river,^ and raised altars of turf to 
the friendly stream. He knew not, alas ! the much 
greater boon that Heaven intended for him, or the 
mourning that Lake Trasimene had in store for Italy. 

The tribe of the Boii had formerly been attacked by 
an army under Flaminius " ; and then he had gained 
an easy triumph and crushed a fickle and guileless 
people ; but to fight the Carthaginian general was 
a far different task. Flaminius was born in an evil 
hour to inflict fatal loss upon Rome ; and Juno now 
chose him as ruler of an exhausted nation and a fit 
instrument of coming destruction. When his first 
day of office came, he seized the helm of the state 
and commanded the armies. So, if a mere landsman, 
with no skill to manage the sea, has got the command 
of a luckless vessel, he himself does the work of foul 
weather, and exposes the ship to be tossed by every 
gale ; she drifts at random over the sea, and the hand 
of her own captain drives her upon the rocks. So 
the army was equipped in haste and led toward the 

consulship he had fought with success against the Gauls in 
N. Italy, the Boii and Insubres. 

221 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Lydorum in populos sedemque ab origine prisci 
sacratam Corythi iunctosque a sanguine avorum 720 
Maeonios Italis permixta stirpe colonos. 

Nee regem Afrorum noscenda ad coepta moratur 
laude super tanta monitor deus. omnia somni 
condiderant aegrisque dabant oblivia curis, 
cum luno, in stagni numen conversa propinqui 725 
et madidae frontis crines circumdata fronde 
populea, stimulat subitis praecordia curis 
ac rumpit ducis baud spernenda voce quietem : 
" o felix famae et Latio lacrimabile nomen 
Hannibal, Ausoniae si te Fortuna creasset, 730 

ad magnos venture deos ! cur fata tenemus ? 
pelle moras : brevis est magni Fortuna favoris. 
quantum vovisti, cum Dardana bella parenti 
iurares, fluet Ausonio tibi corpore tantum 
sanguinis, et patrias satiabis caedibus umbras. 735 
nobis persolves meritos securus honores. 
namque ego sum, celsis quem cinctum montibus 

ambit 
Tmolo missa manus, stagnis Thrasymennus opacis." 

His agitur monitis et lactam numine pubem 
protinus aerii praeceps rapit aggere montis. 740 

horrebat glacie saxa inter lubrica summo 
piniferum caelo miscens caput Apenninus. 
condiderat nix alt a trabes, et vertice celso 

" The " Lydians " are the Etruscans, who came originally 
from Asia and settled in N. Italy : Maeonia is the older 
name of Lydia. Cortona, a city of Etruria near Lake 
Trasimene, was said to have been founded by Corythus, a 
son of Paris and Oenone : the city is called " sacred,'* 
because Corythus was worshipped there as a " hero." 

** Trasimene. 

" A mountain in Lydia. 

•* To reach the fertile country of Etruria, Hannibal had to 
222 



PUNICA, IV. 719-743 

land of the Lydians, where stands the sacred city 
founded of old by Cory thus, and where Maeonian 
settlers had mixed their blood with that of Italians 
in ancient times. ** 

A warning from heaven came quickly to Hannibal, 
that he might learn the consul's design and win great 
glory. Sleep had lulled all things to rest and brought 
to men forgetfulness of trouble, when Juno, counter- 
feiting the deity of the neighbouring lake,^ appeared 
before him, the hair on the dripping brow crowned 
with poplar leaves. She stirred the general's heart 
with sudden anxiety, and broke his sleep with a voice 
he could not disregard. ' * Hannibal — a glorious name, 
though a cause of tears to Latium — had Fortune 
made you a Roman, you would have joined the ranks 
of the high gods. But why do we arrest the course of 
destiny ? Make haste ! The flood-tide of Fortune 
soon ebbs. Those rivers of blood that you vowed, 
when you swore to your father enmity against Rome, 
shall flow now from the veins of Italy, and you shall 
glut your father's ghost with carnage. When your 
troubles are over, you must pay me the honour that 
is my due. For I am the lake surrounded by lofty 
mountains, round which dwell the settlers from 
Tmolus ^ ; I am Trasimene, the lake of shady waters." 

Hannibal was encouraged by this prediction, and 
the soldiers rejoiced in the divine aid. At once he 
led them at speed over the barrier of lofty mountains.** 
The Apennines were frozen hard and lifted their pine- 
clad summits to heaven between slippery cliffs. The 
forests were buried deep in snow, and the hoary peaks 

cross the Apennines, in severe winter weather. He lost the 
sight of one eye from ophthalmia ; and all but one of his 
elephants died. 

223 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

canus apex structa surgebat ad astra pruina. 

ire iubet : prior extingui labique videtur 745 

gloria, post Alpes si stetur montibus ullis. 

scandunt praerupti nimbosa cacumina saxi, 

nee superasse iugum finit mulcetve laborem. 

plana natant, putrique gelu liquentibus undis 

invia limosa restagnant arva palude. 750 

iamque ducis nudus tanta inter inhospita vertex 

saevitia quatitur caeli, manante per ora 

perque genas oculo. facilis sprevisse medentes, 

optatum bene credit emi quocumque periclo 

bellandi tempus. non frontis parcit honori, 755 

dum ne perdat iter ; non cetera membra moratur 

in pretium belli dare, si victoria poscat ; 

satque putat lucis, Capitolia cernere victor 

qua petat atque Italum feriat qua comminus hostem. 

talia perpessi tandem inter saeva locorum 760 

optatos venere lacus, ubi deinde per arma 

sumeret amissi numerosa piacula visus. 

Ecce autem patres aderant Carthagine missi ; 
causa viae non parva viris, nee laeta ferebant. 
mos fuit in populis, quos condidit advena Dido, 765 
poscere caede deos veniam ac flagrantibus aris, 
infandum dictu ! parvos imponere natos. 
urna reducebat miserandos annua casus, 
sacra Thoanteae ritusque imitata Dianae. 
cui fato sortique deum de more petebat 770 

<• That the Phoenicians and their descendants offered 
human sacrifices to their gods appears certain from modern 
excavations: a Carthaginian goddess, in whose honour 
children were burnt, was Tanith; and Moloch was honoured 
in the same horrid fashion. 

* Thoas was king of Tauris (now the Crimea) : Diana (or 
Artemis) had a temple there where human sacrifices were 
offered. 
224 



f 



PUNICA, IV. 744-770 

climbed high into the sky over snow-drifts. He bade 
them march on. He thought his past glory tarnished 
and lost, if any mountains barred his way after he 
had crossed the Alps. They clambered up the storm- 
swept heights and rocky precipices ; but even when 
the mountains v/ere crossed, there was no end and no 
alleviation of their toil. The plains were flooded, the 
rivers swollen with melted snow, and the pathless 
fields covered with a slimy morass. And amid such 
inhosp table surroundings, Hannibal's uncovered head 
felt the bufFetings of this savage clime, and from his eye 
a discharge flowed over face and cheeks. Physicians 
he laughed to scorn. He thought no danger too high 
a price to pay for the coveted opportunity for war. 
For the beauty of his brow he cared nothing, provided 
that his march was not in vain ; if victory demanded 
it, he was willing to sacrifice every limb for the sake 
of war ; it seemed to him that he had sight enough, if 
he could see his victorious path to the Capitol, and 
a way to strike home at his foe. Such were their 
sufferings in that unkind region ; but they came at 
last to the lake they longed to see — the place where 
Hannibal was to find on the field of battle many a 
victim in atonement for his lost sight. 

But behold ! senators came as envoys from Car- 
thage ; they had good reason for their voyage, and 
they bore heavy tidings. The nation which Dido 
founded when she landed in Libya were accustomed 
to appease the gods by human sacrifices ° and to offer 
up their young children — horrible to tell — upon fiery 
altars. Each year the lot was cast and the tragedy 
was repeated, recalling the sacrifices offered to Diana 
in the kingdom of Thoas.^ And now Hanno, the 
ancient enemy of Hannibal, demanded the general's 

225 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Hannibalis prolem discors antiquitus Hannon. 

sed propior metus armati ductoris ab ira 

et magna ante oculos stabat genitoris imago. 

Asperat haec, foedata genas lacerataque crines, 
atque urbem complet maesti clamoris Imilce, 775 
Edonis ut Pangaea super trieteride mota 
it iuga et inclusum suspirat pectore Bacchum. 
ergo inter Tyrias, facibus ceu subdita, matres 
clamat : " io coniux, quocumque in cardine mundi 
bella moves, hue signa refer, violentior hie est, 780 
hie hostis propior. tu nunc fortasse sub ipsis 
urbis Dardaniae muris vibrantia tela 
excipis intrepidus clipeo saevamque coruscans 
lampada Tarpeis infers incendia tectis. 
interea tibi prima domus atque unica proles 785 

heu gremio in patriae Stygias raptatur ad aras ! 
i nunc, Ausonios ferro populare penates 
et vetitas molire vias ; i, pacta resigna, 
per cunctos iurata deos ! sic praemia reddit 
Carthago et tales iam nunc tibi solvit honores ! 790 
quae porro haec pietas, delubra aspergere tabo ? 
heu primae scelerum causae mortalibus aegris, 
naturam nescire deum ! iusta ite precari 
ture pio caedumque feros avertite ritus. 
mite et cognatum est homini deus. hactenus, oro, 
sit satis ante aras caesos vidisse iuvencos ; 796 

aut si velle nefas superos fixumque sedetque, 

<• Hannibal's wife. 

^ The festival of Bacchus recurred at an interval of three 
years. Pangaeus is a mountain in Thrace. 

" The crossing of the Alps is meant. 
226 



PUNICA, IV. 771-797 

son, as the customary victim to suffer this doom 
according to the lot ; but the thought of the armed 
general's wrath struck home to men's hearts, and the 
image of the boy's father stood formidable before 
their eyes. 

Their fear was heightened by Imilee," who tore 
her cheeks and hair and filled the city with woeful 
cries. As a Bacchant in Thrace, maddened by the 
recurring festival,'' speeds over the heights of Mount 
Pangaeus and breathes forth the wine-god who dwells 
in her breast, so Imilce, as if set on fire, cried 
aloud among the women of Carthage : " O husband, 
hearken ! whatever the region of the world where you 
are fighting now, bring your army hither ; here is a 
foe more furious and more pressing. Perhaps at this 
moment you stand beneath the walls of Rome itself, 
parrying the hurtling missiles with dauntless shield ; 
perhaps you are brandishing a dreadful torch and 
setting fire to the Tarpeian temple. Meanwhile your 
first-born and only son is seized, alas, in the heart 
of his native country, for a hellish sacrifice. What 
boots it to ravage the homes of Italy with the sword, 
to march by ways forbidden to man,*' and to break the 
treaty which every god was called to witness ? Such 
is the reward you get from Carthage, and such the 
honours she pays you now ! Again, what sort of 
religion is this, that sprinkles the temples with blood ? 
Alas ! their ignorance of the divine nature is the chief 
cause that leads wretched mortals into crime. Go ye 
to the temples and pray for things lawful, and offer 
incense, but eschew bloody and cruel rites. God is 
merciful and akin to man. Be content with this, 
I pray you — to see cattle slaughtered before the 
altar. Or, if you are sure beyond all doubt that 

227 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

me, me, quae genui, vestris absumite votis. 

cur spoliare iuvat Libycas hac indole terras ? 

an flendae magis Aegates et mersa profundo 800 

Punica regna forent, olim si sorte cruenta 

esset tanta mei virtus praerepta mariti ? " 

haec dubios vario divumque hominisque timore 

ad cauta illexere patres ; ipsique relictum, 

abnueret sortem an superum pareret honori. 805 

turn vero trepidare metu vix compos Imilce, 

magnanimi metuens immitia corda mariti. 

His avide auditis, ductor sic deinde prof at ur : 
** quid tibi pro tanto non impar munere solvat 
Hannibal aequatus superis ? quae praemia digna 810 
inveniam, Carthago parens ? noctemque diemque 
arma feram ; templisque tuis hinc plurima faxo 
hostia ab Ausonio veniat generosa Quirino. 
at puer armorum et belli servabitur heres. 
spes, o nate, meae Tyriarumque unica rerum, 815 
Hesperia minitante, salus, terraque fre toque 
certare Aeneadis, dum stabit vita, memento, 
perge — patent Alpes — nostroque incumbe labori. 
vos quoque, di patrii, quorum delubra piantur 
caedibus atque coli gaudent formidine matrum, 820 
hue laetos vultus totasque advertite mentes. 
namque paro sacra et maiores molior aras. 



" See note to i. 35. 
'' By leaving the decision to him. 

" Quirinus is the name given to Romulus when he was 
deified after death. 



PUNICA, IV. 798-822 

wickedness is pleasing to the gods, then slay me, me 
the mother, and thus keep your vows. Why rob 
the land of Libya of the promise shown by this 
child ? If my husband's glorious career had been 
thus nipped in the bud long ago by the fatal lot, 
would not that have been as lamentable a disaster 
as the battle by the Aegatian islands « when the 
power of Carthage was sunk beneath the waves ? " 
The senators, hesitating between their fear of the 
gods and their fear of Hannibal, were induced by 
her appeal to run no risks ; and they left it to Hanni- 
bal himself to decide, whether he would defy the lot 
or comply with the tribute due to the gods. Then 
indeed Imilce became half-frantic with terror ; for 
she dreaded the stern heart of her high-souled 
husband. 

Hannibal listened eagerly to the message and thus 
replied : " O Mother Carthage, you have set me on 
a level with the gods,^ and how shall I repay you in 
full for such generosity ? What sufficient recompense 
can I find ? I shall fight on, night and day, and many 
a high-born victim from the people of Quirinus ^ shall 
I send from this place to your temples. But the 
child must be spared, to carry on my career in arms. 
You, my son, on whom rest my hopes, you, who are 
the only safeguard of Carthaginian power against 
the menace of Italy, remember to fight against the 
Aeneadae all your life long. Go forward — the Alps 
lie open now — and apply yourself to my task. To 
you also I call, gods of my country, whose shrines 
are propitiated with bloodshed, and who rejoice in 
a tribute that strikes terror to mothers' hearts, turn 
hither joyful looks and your whole hearts; for I am 
preparing a sacrifice and building for you mightier 

229 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

tu, Mago, adversi conside in vertice montis, 

tu laevos propior colles accede, Choaspe, 

ad claustra et fauces ducat per opaca Sychaeus. 825 

ast ego te, Thrasymenne, vago cum milite praeceps 

lustrabo et superis quaeram libamina belli. 

namque baud parva deus promissis spondet apertis, 

quae spectata, viri, patriam referatis in urbem." 

* The deity of the lake, whose semblance Juno had put on. 



2S0 



i 



PUNICA, IV. 823-829 

altars. You, Mago, must encamp on the top of the 
mountain opposite, while Choaspes keeps closer and 
approaches the hills on our left ; and let Sychaeus 
lead his men through the woods to the gorge and 
its mouth. I myself shall ride swiftly about Lake 
Trasimene with a flying force, and shall seek victims 
of war to offer to the gods. For the express promise 
of the god " assures me of a great victory. It is for 
you, ambassadors, to witness it and carry back the 
tale to Carthage." 



231 



LIBER QUINTUS 

ARGUMENT 

Hannibal lays a trap for the enemy. The name of Lake 
Trasimene (1-23). Flaminius makes light of evil omens 

Ceperat Etruscos occulto milite colles 

Sidonius ductor perque alta silentia noctis 

silvarum anfractus caecis insiderat armis. 

at parte e laeva, restagnans gurgite vasto, 

effigiem in pelagi lacus humectabat inertis 6 

et late multo foedabat proxima limo ; 

quae vada, Faunigenae regnata antiquitus Arno, 

nunc volvente die Thrasymenni nomina servant. 

Lydius huic genitor, Tmoli decus, aequore longo 

Maeoniam quondam in Latias advexerat oras 10 

Tyrrhenus pubem dederatque vocabula terris ; 

isque insueta tubae monstravit murmura primus 

gentibus et bellis ignava silentia rupit. 

nee modicus voti natum ad maiora fovebat. 

verum ardens puero eastumque exuta pudorem 15 

(nam forma certare deis, Thrasymenne, valeres) 

litore correptum stagnis demisit Agylle, 

" The river Arnus (now Arno) feeds the lake, and we are 
here told that the lake too was once called Arnus, before the 
Lydians came to Italy and settled in Etruria. Tmolus is a 
mountain in Lydia. Maconia is an older name for Lydia. 

^ See note to iv. 167. 
232 



BOOK V 

ARGUMENT (continued) 

and the warning of Corvinus, the soothsayer, and encourages 
his men to fight (24-185). The battle of Lake Trasimene 
(186-687). 

The Carthaginian leader had seized the Tuscan 
hills with an unseen force, and in the deep silence of 
night had occupied the winding woods with troops 
in ambush. But on their left hand the lake, like a 
sluggish sea, spread over all the region round with 
the overflow of its mighty waters and marred the 
prospect with its abundant slime. This lake was 
ruled over in ancient times by Arnus, son of Faunus, 
and now, in a later age, keeps green the name of 
Trasimene. The father of Trasimene was Tyrrhenus, 
a Lydian and the pride of Tmolus ; he had formerly 
brought men of Maeonia the long sea-voyage to the 
Latian land, and had given his own name to the 
country," and it was he who first revealed to men 
the sound of the trumpet,^ unheard till then, and 
broke the spiritless silence of battle. An ambitious 
man, he bred up his son for a higher destiny. But 
the nymph Agylle loved the young Trasimene ; and 
indeed in beauty he could contend with the gods 
themselves. Casting off maiden shame, she seized 
him on the shore and carried him down to the depths ; 

233 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

flore capi iuvenem primaevo lubrica mentem 
nympha nee Idalia lenta inealuisse sagitta. 
solatae viridi penitus fovere sub antro 20 

Naides amplexus undosaque regna trementem. 
hine dotale laeus nomen, lateque Hymenaeo 
eonseia laseivo Thrasymennus dieitur unda. 

Et iam eurrieulo nigram nox roscida metam 
stringebat, nee se thalamis Tithonia eoniux 25 

protulerat stabatque nitens in limine primo, 
cum minus abnuerit noctem desisse viator 
quam coepisse diem : eonsul earpebat iniquas, 
praegrediens signa ipsa, vias, omnisque ruebat 
mixtus eques ; nee diseretis levia arma maniplis 30 
insertique globo pedites et inutile Marti 
lixarum vulgus praesago cuncta tumultu 
implere et pugnam fugientum more petebant. 
tum super ipse lacus, densam caligine caeca 
exhalans nebulam, late corruperat omnem 35 

prospectum miseris, atque atrae noctis amictu 
squalebat pressum picea inter nubila caelum, 
nee Poenum liquere doli ; sedet ense reposto 
abditus et nullis properantem occursibus arcet. 
ire datur, longeque patet, ceu pace quieta, 40 

incustoditum, mox irremeabile, litus. 
namque sub angustas artato limite fauces 
in fraudem ducebat iter, geminumque receptis 



" Venus : she had a temple at IdaHum in Cyprus. 
^ Aurora, the Dawn. 
• Flaminius, one of the consuls. 
234 



PUNICA, V. 18-43 

for her young heart was quick to feel the spell of 
youthful beauty, nor was she slow to catch fire from 
the arrow of the Idalian goddess." The Naiads, in 
their green cave far below, comforted and cherished 
the boy, when he shrank from his bride's embrace and 
that watery world. From him the lake, a gift from the 
bride, got its name ; and the water, aware through 
all its extent of the marriage joy, still bears the name 
of Trasimene. 

And now the chariot of dewy night was close to 
its dusky goal, and the spouse of Tithonus,^ not yet 
emerged from her marriage-chamber, stood shining 
on the threshold — a time when the wayfarer is less 
sure that day has begun than that night is ended. 
The Roman general '^ was marching over the uneven 
ground, ahead even of his standards ; all his cavalry 
hastened in confusion after him ; the skirmishers 
were not arrayed in separate companies ; the foot- 
men were mixed up with the body of cavalry ; and 
the unwarlike rabble of camp-followers filled the 
air with ominous uproar, and went into battle like 
fugitives. Then, in addition, the lake itself breathed 
forth a black and blinding mist, so that the doomed 
army could see nothing on any side ; and the sky, 
hidden beneath night's dark robe, was gloomy with 
pitch-black clouds. Nor did Hannibal forget his 
cunning. He lay in hiding with sword in rest ; no 
advance of his blocked the progress of the foe. Their 
course was free ; and far and wide, as in the stillness 
of peace, stretched the unguarded shore — the shore, 
from which there would soon be no returning ; for, 
the path narrowing as it passed into the closing 
gorge, their route led into the trap ; and a double 
doom, with the chffs on one side and the barrier of 

235 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

exitium, hinc rupes, hinc undae claustra premebant. 
at cura umbroso servabat vertice mentis 46 

hostilem ingressum, refugos habitura sub ictu. 
baud secus ac vitreas sellers piscator ad undas, 
ore levem patulo texens de vimine nassam, 
cautius interiora ligat mediamque per alvum, 
sensim fastigans, compressa cacumina nectit 50 

ac fraude artati remeare foraminis arcet 
introitu facilem, quem traxit ab aequore, piscem. 

Ocius interea propelli signa iubebat 
excussus consul fatorum turbine mentem, 
donee flammiferum tollentes aequore currum 65 

solis equi sparsere diem, iamque, orbe renato, 
diluerat nebulas Titan, sensimque fluebat 
caligo in terras nitido resoluta sereno. 
tunc ales, priscum populis de more Latinis 
auspicium, cum bella parant mentesque deorum 60 
explorant super eventu, ceu praescia luctus, 
damnavit vesci planctuque alimenta refugit. 
nee rauco taurus cessavit flebile ad aras 
immugire sono, pressamque ad colla bipennem 
incerta cervice ferens, altaria liquit. 66 

signa etiam afFusa certant dum vellere mole, 
taeter humo lacera nitentum erupit in ora 
exultans cruor, et caedis documenta futurae 
ipsa parens miseris gremio dedit atra cruento ; 
ac super haec divum genitor, terrasque fretumque 70 

** The sacred chickens, whose willingness or unwilhngness 
to feed was regarded by Roman generals as ominous of 
victory or defeat. 

* See note to iii. 220. 
236 



PUNICA, V. 44-70 

the lake on the other, kept them fast in the toils. 
Meanwhile on the wooded mountain-top careful watch 
waited for the entrance of the Romans, ready 
to strike whenever they took to flight. Even so 
beside a glassy stream a cunning angler weaves 
osiers to make a light and wide-mouthed weel; 
the inmost part he frames with especial care, and 
for the centre he makes the trap taper gradually to 
a point, and fastens together the narrowed ends ; 
so by the contracting aperture's deceit he forbids 
return to the fish which, free as they were to enter, 
he has drawn in from the stream. 

Meanwhile Flaminius, bereft of his senses and 
swept along by destiny, ordered the standards to be 
advanced with speed ; and then the sun's coursers 
lifted his fiery chariot from the sea and scattered day- 
light abroad. Soon the sun with disk renewed had 
dispelled the vapours ; and the darkness, broken up 
by the cloudless radiance, floated down by degrees 
to earth. But now the birds ,<» which the peoples of 
Latium consult by ancient custom, when they go to 
war and inquire into the purpose of Heaven concerning 
the issue — these birds refused to eat as if aware of 
coming disaster, and fled from their food with flapping 
wings. And the bull at the altar never ceased to 
bellow with hoarse and mournful sound ; and when 
the axe was swung against him, he met the blow 
with shrinking neck and ran away from the altar. 
Again, when they tried to wrench the standards from 
their mounds of soil,^ noisome blood spouted forth in 
their faces from the broken ground, and Mother Earth 
herself sent forth from her bleeding breast dreadful 
omens of coming slaughter. Moreover, the Father 
of the gods, who shakes earth and sea with his thunder, 
VOL. r 1 237 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

concutiens tonitru, Cyclopum rapta caminis 
fulmina Tyrrhenas Thrasymenni torsit in undas ; 
ictusque aetheria per stagna patentia flamma 
fumavit lacus, atque arserunt fluctibus igiies. 
heu vani monitus frustraque morantia Parcas 75 

prodigia ! heu fatis superi certare minores ! 
atque hie, egregius hnguae nomenque superbum, 
Corvinus, Phoebea sedet cui casside fulva 
ostentans ales proavitae insignia pugnae, 
plenus et ipse deum et socium terrente pavore, 80 
immiscet precibus monita atque his vocibus infit : 
" Iliacas per te flammas Tarpeiaque saxa, 
per patrios, consul, muros suspensaque nostrae 
eventu pugnae natorum pignora, cedas 
oramus superis tempusque ad proelia dextrum 85 
opperiare. dabunt idem camposque diemque 
pugnandi ; tantum ne dedignare secundos 
expectare deos : cum fulserit hora, cruentam 
quae stragem Libyae portet, tum signa sequentur 
nulla vulsa manu, vescique interritus ales 90 

gaudebit, nuUosque vomet pia terra cruores. 
an te praestantem belli fugit, improba quantum 
hoc possit Fortuna loco ? sedet obvius hostis 
adversa fronte ; at circa nemorosa minantur 
insidias iuga, nee laeva stagnantibus undis 95 

efFugium patet, et tenui stant tramite fauces, 
si certare dolis et bellum ducere cordi est, 
interea rapidis aderit Servilius armis, 

" The Cyclopes worked at forges in the Lipari islands and 
made thunderbolts for Jupiter. 

** M. Valerius, when serving against the Gauls in 349 b.c, 
accepted a challenge to single combat from a gigantic Gaul. 
A raven perched on his helmet and helped him to victory 
by attacking his enemy. Hence he received the name of 
Corvus (raven) or Corvinus. 



PUNICA, V. 71-98 

seized thunderbolts from the forges of the Cyclopes,*" 
and hurled them into the Tuscan waters of Lake 
Trasimene, till the lake, struck by fire from heaven, 
smoked all over its wide expanse, and fire burned on 
the water. Alas, for fruitless warnings and portents 
that seek in vain to hinder destiny ! Alas, for gods 
who cannot contend against Fate ! At this point 
Corvinus spoke, a famous orator and a noble name ; 
his golden helmet bore the bird of Phoebus, which 
commemorated the glorious combat of his ancestor.^ 
Himself inspired by Heaven and alarmed by the fears 
of the soldiers, he mingled warning with entreaty and 
thus began : " By the fire from Troy and by the 
Tarpeian rock, by the walls of Rome, by the fate of 
our sons that hangs on the issue of this battle — by 
these we entreat you, general, not to defy the gods 
but to await a fit time for battle. They will give us 
place and time for fighting ; only be not too proud to 
wait for Heaven's favour. When comes the happy 
hour that shall bring death and defeat for Libya, then 
the standards will need no force to make them 
follow, the birds will take their food unterrified, and 
Mother Earth will vomit no blood. Do you, so skilled 
a soldier, fail to see how great is the power of cruel 
Fortune in our present position ? The enemy is en- 
camped over against us and stops our way, and the 
wooded heights all round threaten us with ambus- 
cades ; nor is there a way of escape on the left where 
the lake spreads, and the path through the gorge is 
narrow. If you are willing to meet guile with guile 
and to postpone battle, Servilius '^ will soon be here 

" Gnaeus Servilius, the other consul, was detained at Rome 
for a time by necessary duties : he then started northwards 
and made his headquarters at Ariminum. 

2S9 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

cui par imperium et vires legionibus aequae. 
bellandum est astu : levior laus in duce dextrae." 

Talia Corvinus, primoresque addere passim 101 
orantum verba, et divisus quisque timoris 
nunc superos, ne Flaminio, nunc deinde precari 
Flaminium, ne caelicolis contendere perstet. 
acrius hoc accensa ducis surrexerat ira, 105 

auditoque furens socias non defore vires : 
" sicine nos," inquit, " Boiorum in bella ruentes 
spectastis, cum tanta lues vulgusque tremendum 
ingrueret, rupesque iterum Tarpeia paveret ? 
quas ego tunc animas dextra, quae corpora fudi, 110 
irata tellure sata et vix vulnere vitam 
reddentes uno ! iacuere ingentia membra 
per campos magnisque premunt nunc ossibus arva. 
scilicet has sera ad laudes Servilius arma 
adiungat, nisi diviso vicisse triumpho 115 

ut nequeam et decoris contentus parte quiescam ? 
quippe monent superi. similes ne fingite vobis, 
classica qui tremitis, divos. sat magnus in hostem 
augur adest ensis, pulchrumque et milite dignum 
auspicium Latio, quod in armis dextera praestat. 120 
an, Corvine, sedet, clausum se consul inerti 
ut teneat vallo ? Poenus nunc occupet altos 
Arreti muros, Corythi nunc diruat arcem ? 
hinc Clusina petat ? postremo ad moenia Romae 
illaesus contendat iter ? deforme sub armis 125 



" The army of Servilius. 

* Gauls had besieged the Capitol before, in 390 b.c. 

" He compares the Gauls, who were very big men, to the 
Titans, the sons of Earth. 

** Cortona : see note to iv. 720. 
240 



PUNICA, V. 99-125 

with his hurrying troops. He has equal authority 
with you, and his legions are as strong as yours. 
War calls for strategy : valour is less praiseworthy 
in a commander." 

Thus Corvinus spoke ; and all the chief officers 
added words of entreaty ; and each man, beset by 
a double fear, prayed to the gods not to fight against 
Flaminius, and to Flaminius not to persist in fighting 
against Heaven. This roused the general's anger to 
greater heat ; and, when he heard that a friendly 
force " was near, he cried in fury : " Was it thus that 
you saw me rushing to battle against the Boii, when 
the great peril of that fearsome horde came against 
us, and the Tarpeian rock feared a second ^ siege ? 
How many I then put to death ! how many bodies 
my right arm laid low ! — bodies born by Earth in 
anger, and men whom a single wound could hardly 
kill.'' Their huge limbs were scattered over the 
plains, and now their mighty bones cover the fields. 
Shall Servilius, forsootk,. claim a share in my great 
deeds for his belated army, so that I cannot conquer 
unless I share the triumph with him, but must rest 
content with half the glory ? You say that the gods 
warn us. Think not that the gods are like yourselves 
— men who tremble at the sound of the trumpet. 
The sword is a sufficient soothsayer against the foe, 
and the work of an armed right hand is a glorious 
omen worthy of a Roman soldier. Is this your pur- 
pose, Corvinus, that the consul should shut himself 
up behind a rampart and do nothing ? Shall Hannibal 
first seize the high walls of Arretium, and then destroy 
the citadel of Cory thus ,^ and next proceed to Clusium, 
and at last march unmolested to the walls of Rome ? 
Groundless superstition ill becomes an army ; Valour 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

vana superstitio est ; dea sola in pectore virtus 
bellantum viget. unibrarum me noctibus atris 
agmina circumstant, Trebiae qui gurgite quique 
Eridani volvuntur aquis, inhumata iuventus." 

Nee mora, iam medio coetu signisque sub ipsis 
postrema aptabat nulli exorabilis arma. 131 

aere atque aequorei tergo flavente iuvenci 
cassis erat munita viro ; cui vertiee surgens 
triplex crista iubas effundit crine Suevo ; 
Scylla super, fracti contorquens pondera remi, 135 
instabat saevosque canum pandebat hiatus, 
nobile Gargeni spolium, quod rege superbus 
Boiorum caeso capiti illacerabile victor 
aptarat pugnasque decus portabat in omnes. 
loricam induitur ; tortos huic nexilis hamos 140 

ferro squama rudi permixtoque asperat auro. 
turn clipeum capit, aspersum quem caedibus olim 
Celticus ornarat cruor ; humentique sub antro, 
ceu fetum, lupa permulcens puerilia membra 
ingentem Assaraci caelo nutribat alumnum, 145 

hinc ensem lateri dextraeque accommodat hastam. 
stat sonipes vexatque ferox humentia frena, 
Caucasiam instratus virgato corpore tigrim. 
inde exceptus equo, qua dant angusta viarum, 
nunc hos, nunc illos adit atque hortatibus implet : 150 
" vestrum opus est vestrumque decus, suffixa per 

urbem 
Poeni ferre ducis spectanda parentibus ora. 

" The Suevi were a tribe of Gauls. It seems that they 
fought with the Boii against Flaminius, and that he took their 
scalps as trophies. 

^ For a similar breastplate see ii. 401 foil. 

" Romulus, suckled by the She-wolf. Assaracus was an 
ancient king of Troy. 
242 



PUNICA, V. 126-152 

is the only deity that rules in the warrior's breast. 
In the darkness of night an army of ghosts stands 
round my bed — the unburied soldiers, whose bodies 
are rolling down Trebia's stream and the waters of 
the Po." 

Straightway, surrounded by his officers and hard 
by the standards, he put on his armour for the last 
time, proof against all entreaty. His tough helmet 
was made of bronze and the tawny hide of a sea-calf; 
and above it rose a triple crest, with hair of the Suevi <* 
hanging down like a mane ; and on the top stood a 
Scylla, brandishing a heavy broken oar and opening 
wide the savage jaws of her dogs. When Flaminius 
conquered and slew Gargenus, king of the Boii, he 
had fitted to his own head this famous trophy that no 
hand could mutilate, and proudly he bore it in all his 
battles. Then he put on his breastplate ; its twisted 
Hnks were embossed with plates wrought of hard 
steel mingled with gold.^ Next he took up his shield, 
formerly drenched with the slaughter of Gauls and 
adorned with their blood ; and on it the She-wolf, 
in a dripping grotto, was licking the limbs of a child, 
as if he were her cub, and suckling the mighty scion 
of Assaracus '^ for his translation to heaven. Lastly 
he fitted the sword to his side and the spear to his 
right hand. His war-horse stood by, proudly champ- 
ing the foaming bit ; for saddle he bore the striped 
skin of a Caucasian tiger. Then the general mounted 
and rode from one company to another, as far as the 
confined space would allow, and filled their ears with 
his appeals : " Yours is the task, and yours the glory, 
to carry the head of Hannibal on a pike through the 
streets of Rome, for fathers and mothers to behold. 



243 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

unum hoc pro cunctis sat erit caput, aspera quisque 
hortamenta sibi referat : meus, heu ! meus atris 
Ticini frater ripis iacet ; at meus alta 155 

metitur stagna Eridani sine funere natus. 
haec sibi quisque ; sed, est vestrum cui nulla doloris 
privati rabies, is vero urgentia sumat 
e medio, fodiant quae magnas pectus in iras, 
perfractas Alpes passamque infanda Saguntum, 160 
quosque nefas vetiti transcendere flumen Hiberi, 
tangere iam Thy brim, nam dum vos augur et extis 
quaesitae fibrae vanusque liioratur haruspex, 
solum iam superest, Tarpeio imponere castra." 

Turbidus haec, visoque artis in milibus atras 165 
bellatore iubas aptante : " est, Orfite, munus, 
est," ait, " hoc cert are tuum, quis opima volenti 
dona lovi portet feretro suspensa cruento. 
nam cur haec alia pariatur gloria dextra ? " 169 

hinc praevectus equo, postquam inter proelia notam 
accepit vocem : " procul hinc te Martius," inquit, 
" Murrane, ostendit clamor, videoque furentem 
iam Tyria te caede ; venit laus quanta ! sed, oro, 
haec angusta loci ferro patefacta relaxa." 
tum Soracte satum, praestantem corpore et armis, 175 
Aequanum noscens, patrio cui ritus in arvo, 
cum pius Arcitenens accensis gaudet acervis, 

" The treaty made at the end of the First Punic War for- 
bade the Carthaginians in Spain to advance beyond the river 
Ebro : see i. 480. » See note to iii. 587. 

" A mountain in Etruria, 25 miles from Rome, with a 
temple of Apollo on the summit : the priests were supposed 
to have the power of passing unharmed through fire and 
treading on the hot ashes with bare feet. Aequanus was one 
of these priests. 

^ Apollo, who defended his mother Latona by shooting 
the python. 

244 



PUNICA, V. 163-177 

That one head will make amends for all our slain. Let 
each man recall the griefs that urge him on : ' My 
brother, alas ! my own brother is lying on the fatal 
banks of the Ticinus ' ; or * My son, unburied, is 
measuring the depth of the river Po.' Let each man 
speak thus to himself. But, if any man feels no rage 
derived from private sorrow, let him find motives 
in the suffering of his country to sting his heart to 
fierce wrath — the breach made in the Alps, the awful 
fate of Saguntum, and those whom Heaven forbade 
to cross the Ebro " now so near to the Tiber. For, 
while you are held back by augurs and soothsayers 
vainly prying into the entrails of victims, Hannibal 
has but one thing more to do — to pitch his camp on 
the Tarpeian rock." 

Thus Flaminius ranted, and then he spied in the 
crowded ranks a warrior fitting on his black helmet- 
plume. " It is your task, Orfitus," he cried, " to 
contend for this prize — who shall bear the spoils of 
honour ^ to Jupiter, a welcome offering borne aloft 
on a blood-stained litter. For why should this glory 
be won by the hand of another } " He rode on ; 
and when he heard in the ranks a familiar voice, 
" Murranus," he cried, " your war-cry reveals your 
presence from afar, and I see you already frenzied 
as you slaughter the foe. How great the glory that 
awaits you ! But this is my prayer : set us free 
from this confinement, making a way with the 
sword." Next he recognized Aequanus, a son 
of Mount Soracte,^ a splendid figure in splendid 
armour : in his native land it was his task to carry 
the offerings thrice in triumph over harmless fires, at 
the time when the Archer, the loving son,** takes 

VOL. I 1 2 24i5 



I 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

exta ter innocuos laetum portare per ignes : 

" sic in ApoUinea semper vestigia pruna 

inviolata teras victorque vaporis ad aras 180 

dona serenato referas sollemnia Phoebo : 

concipe," ait, " dignum factis, Aequane, furorem 

vulneribusque tuis. socio te caedis et irae 

non ego Marmaridum mediam penetrare phalangem 

Cinyphiaeque globos dubitarim irrumpere turmae." 

Nee iam ultra monitus et verba morantia Martem 
ferre valet, longo Aeneadis quod flebitur aevo. 187 
increpuere simul feralia classica signum, 
ac tuba terrificis fregit stridoribus auras, 
heu dolor, heu lacrimae, nee post tot saecula serae ! 
horresco ut pendente malo, ceu ductor ad arma 191 
exciret Tyrius. latebrosis collibus Astur 
et Libys et torta Baliaris saevus habena 
erumpunt multusque Maces Garamasque Nomasque; 
turn, quo non alius venalem in proelia dextram 195 
ocior attulerit conductaque bella probarit, 
Cantaber et galeae contempto tegmine Vasco. 
hinc pariter rupes, lacus hinc, hinc arma simulque 
consona vox urget, signum clamore vicissim 
per colles Tyria circumfundente corona. 200 

Avertere dei vultus fatoque dederunt 
maiori non sponte locum ; stupet ipse tyranni 
fortunam Libyci Mavors, disiectaque crinem 
illacrimat Venus, et Delum pervectus Apollo 
tristem maerenti solatur pectine luctum. 205 



*• See note to iii. 687 : for Cinyphian see note to 1. 288. 

^ The name of this Spanish people is perhaps preserved 
by the Basques. 
246 



PUNICA, V. 178-206 

pleasure in the blazing piles. " Aequanus," cried the 
general, " fill your heart with wrath that suits your 
prowess and your wounds ; and then may you ever 
tread unhurt over Apollo's fire, and conquer the flame, 
and carry the customary offering to the altar, while 
Phoebus smiles. With you as my partner in the 
rage of battle, I should not hesitate to pierce a 
phalanx of the Marmaridae ^ in their centre, or to 
rush upon the squares of the Cinyphian horsemen." 

Flaminius no longer could endure appeals and 
speeches that postponed the battle. Long shall the 
Aeneadae lament what followed. The fatal trumpets 
rang forth the signal all together ; and the bugle 
rent the air with its awesome din. O grief ! O tears, 
which even after so many centuries are not belated ! 
I shudder, as if calamity were imminent, as if 
Hannibal were even now calling to arms. From the 
hills that hid them they rushed forth — Asturians 
and Libyans, fierce Balearic slingers, and swarms of 
Macae, Garamantians, and Numidians ; Cantabrians 
also, eager beyond others to hire out their swords 
and approve mercenary warfare ; and Vascones ^ who 
scorn the protection of a helmet. On this side rocks, 
on this the lake, on this armed men with their 
united cries, hem the Romans in, while the ring of 
Carthaginians spread the battle-cry from man to man 
through the hills. 

The gods turned away their faces and gave way 
reluctantly to over - ruling Fate. Mars himself 
wondered at the good fortune of the Carthaginian 
leader ; Venus wept with dishevelled hair ; and 
Apollo was wafted to Delos,*' where he soothed his 
grief with plaintive lyre. Juno alone remained, sit- 
• His birthplace. 

247 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sola, Apennini residens in vertice, diras 
expectat caedes immiti pectore luno. 

Primae Picentum, rupto ceu turbine fusa 
agmina et Hannibalem ruere ut videre, cohortes 
invadunt ultro, et poenas pro morte futura, 210 

turbato victore, petunt accensa iuventus ; 
et, velut erepto metuendi libera caelo, 
manibus ipsa suis praesumpta piacula mittit. 
funditur unanimo nisu et concordibus ausis 
pilorum in Poenos nimbus, fixosque repulsi 215 

summittunt clipeos curvato pondere teli. 
acrius hoc rursum Libys — et praesentia saevi 
extimulat ducis — hortantes se quisque vicissim 
incumbunt pressoque impellunt pectore pectus. 

Ipsa, facem quatiens ac flavam sanguine multo 
sparsa comam, medias acies Bellona pererrat. 221 
stridit Tartareae nigro sub pectore divae 
letiferum murmur, feralique horrida cantu 
bucina lymphatas agit in certamina mentes. 
his iras adversa fovent crudusque ruente 225 

fortuna stimulus spem proiecisse salutis ; 
hos dexter deus et laeto Victoria vultu 
arridens acuit, Martisque favore fruuntur. 

Abreptus pulchro caedum Lateranus amore, 
dum sequitur dextram, in medios penetraverat hostes. 
quem postquam florens aequali Lentulus aevo 231 



" This weapon was the pilum, the characteristic weapon of 
the Roman legionary ; it was over six feet long, and the iron 
head was the same length as the wooden shaft. The soldier 
threw it at the beginning of an attack ; if it missed the 
corslet, it stuck in the shield and made it useless. 

* The goddess of war. 
248 



PUNICA, V. 206-231 

ting on a peak of the Apennines, and her cruel heart 
looked forward to the dreadful slaughter. 

First of all, the men of Picenum, when they saw 
the enemy pouring forth like a cloudburst from the 
sky, and Hannibal in full career, anticipate the attack ; 
the soldiers in their ardour seek a recompense for 
their imminent death in harassing their conqueror ; 
and free from fear as if life was lost already, they 
send down before them victims to make atonement 
to their own ghosts. With combined effort and simul- 
taneous action they hurled a cloud of javelins against 
the Carthaginians ; and the foe were beaten back 
and lowered their shields in which the heavy curved 
weapons" stuck fast. The fiercer on that account 
did the Libyans press on — and the presence of their 
stern commander increased their efforts — while man 
encouraged man, till breast clashed hard against 
breast. 

Bellona ^ herself moved through the centre of the 
battle, brandishing her torch, and her fair hair was 
spattered with abundant gore. The hoarse cry that 
came from the dark breast of the hellish goddess was 
fraught with death ; and the dreadful trumpet with 
its mournful music drove maddened hearts into the 
fray. The ardour of the Romans was kindled by 
defeat, and despair proved a strong incentive in the 
hour of disaster ; but the foe were encouraged by 
the favour of Heaven and the smiling face of Victory, 
and they enjoyed the favour of Mars. 

Lateranus, carried away by noble love of slaughter, 
had gone on slaying till he pierced to the centre of 
the foe. While he, too eager for battle and blood- 
shed, defied Fortune on unequal terms among the 
hordes of the enemy, Lentulus, a youth of the same 

249 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

conspexit, nimium pugnae nimiumque cruoris 
infestas inter non aequo Marte catervas 
fata irritantem, nisu se concitat acri 
immitemque Bagam, qui iam vicina ferebat 235 

vulnera pugnantis tergo, velocior hasta 
oecupat et socium duris se casibus addit. 
tunc alacres arma agglomerant geminaque corusci 
fronte micant, paribus fulgent capita ardua cristis. 
actus in adversos casu (namque obvia ferre 240 

arma quis auderet, nisi quern deus ima colentum 
damnasset Stygiae nocti ?) praefracta gerebat 
Syrticus excelso decurrens robora monte 
et, quatiens acer nodosi pondera rami, 
flagrabat geminae nequiquam caedis amore : 245 

" non hie Aegates infidaque litora nautis, 
o iuvenes, motumque novis sine Marte procellis 
fortunam bello pelagus dabit ; aequoris olim 
victores, media sit qualis, discite, terra 
bellator Libys, et meliori cedite regnis." 250 

ac simul infesto Lateranum pondere truncae 
arboris urgebat, iungens convicia pugnae. 
Lentulus huic frendens ira : " Thrasymennus in altos 
ascendet citius colles, quam sanguine roret 
iste pio ramus," subsidensque ilia nisu 255 

conantis suspensa fodit ; turn fervidus atro 
pulmone exundat per hiantia viscera sanguis. 
Nee minus accensis in mutua funera dextris 
parte alia campi saevit furor, altus lertes 
obtruncat Nerium ; Rullo ditissimus arvi 260 

occumbis, generose Volunx, nee clausa repostis 

" See note to i. 35. 
250 



I 



PUNICA, V. 232-261 

age, saw his plight and ran forward with a hasty effort 
against fierce Bagas, whose spear-point was close to 
the back of Lateranus as he fought. But Lentulus 
was quicker and drove his spear in first, and proved 
himself a friend in adversity. Then the pair eagerly 
joined forces ; the brows of both shone with equal 
light, and their heads, held high, were adorned with 
twin plumes. It was by chance that Syrticus, a 
Carthaginian, was driven to face the pair — for who 
would have dared to meet them in fight, unless he 
were condemned to nether darkness by the deity of 
the shades below ? He hastened down from the 
heights, carrying a branch broken off from an oak- 
tree ; and, as he fiercely brandished the heavy 
j knotted bough, he burned with vain desire to slay 
the pair : "Ye Romans, here are no Aegatian 
islands,** no shore that betrays the seaman ; no sea, 
stirred by sudden storms and not by war, shall decide ^ 
the issue of battle ; at sea ye conquered in the past ; J 
learn now, how a Libyan can fight on dry land, and 
resign your power to your betters." At the same 
time he pressed Lateranus hard with the heavy 
branch, and reviled him while he attacked. But 
Lentulus ground his teeth with rage : " Lake Trasi- 
mene shall climb up these hills," he cried, " before 
his noble blood shall wet your bough." Then crouch- 
ing down, he stabbed the other in the groin which 
the effort of his blow had lifted up, till the hot blood 
poured out from the black lung through the gaping 
entrails. 

In other parts of the field the same frenzy raged, 
and the fighters were eager to slay and be slain. 
Tall lertes slew Nerius ; and high-born Vohmx, the 
owner of broad lands, was overthrown by Rullus. 

251 



? 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

pondera thesauris patrio nee regia quondam 
praefulgens ebore et possessa mapalia soli 
profuerunt. quid rapta iuvant ? quid gentibus auri 
numquam extinctasitis ? modo quern Fortuna fovendo 
congestis opibus donisque refersit opimis, 266 

nudum Tartarea portabit navita eymba. 

luxta bellator iuvenilibus Appius ausis 
pandebat campum caede atque, ubi plurima virtus 
nullique aspirare vigor, decus inde petebat. 270 

obvius huic Atlans, Atlans a litore Hibero, 
nequiequam extremae longinquus cultor harenae, 
impetit os hasta, leviterque e corpore summo 
degustat cuspis generosum extrema cruorem. 
intonuere minae, violentaque lumina flammis 276 
exarsere novis ; furit et difFulminat omnem 
obstantum turbam ; clausum sub casside vulnus 
Martia commendat mananti sanguine membra, 
tum vero aspiceres pavitantem et condere semet 
nitentem sociis iuvenem, ceu tigride cerva 280 

Hyrcana cum pressa tremit, vel territa pennas 
colligit accipitrem cernens in nube columba, 
aut dumis subit, albenti si sensit in aethra 
librantem nisus aquilam, lepus. ora citato 
ense ferit, tum coUa viri dextramque micantem 285 
demetit ac mutat successu saevior hostem. 

Stabat fulgentem portans in bella bipennem 
Cinyphius socerique miser Magonis inire 
optabat pugnam ante oculos spe laudis Isalcas, 



" Charon. 

" The Cinyps is a river of N. Africa between the two 
Syrtes : at its mouth there was a town of the same name. 
252 



PUNICA, V. 262-289 

What availed him now all his treasure locked up in 
secret chambers, or his kingly palace, once shining 
with African ivory, or whole villages belonging to him 
alone ? The wealth he seized could not help him, or 
the thirst for gold that men can never slake. The 
man whom Fortune favoured once and crammed with 
piled-up wealth and rich gifts — him now shall the 
Ferryman's ^ boat convey naked to Tartarus. 

Near them fought the young warrior Appius, cut- 
ting a path with his sword, and seeking glory where 
utmost valour was needed and none else had strength 
to seek it. He was confronted by Atlas — Atlas from 
the Spanish shore ; but his distant home by the out- 
most sea did not save him. When he aimed his spear 
at the head of Appius, the point alone lightly grazed 
the skin and just tasted that noble blood. Like a 
thunder-peal were the threats of Appius ; his furious 
eyeballs burned with fresh fire ; the lightning of his 
rage scattered all in his path ; his wound was hidden 
by the helmet, and the flowing blood made his war- 
like figure more splendid. Then one might have 
seen his enemy striving in terror to hide behind his 
comrades, like a trembling hind pursued by a 
Hyrcanian tigress, or like a pigeon that checks her 
flight when she sees a hawk in the sky, or like a 
hare that dives into the thicket at sight of the eagle 
hovering with outstretched wings in the cloudless sky. 
He was wounded in the face by the furious sword ; 
then Appius cut off his head and quivering right 
hand, and sought a fresh victim, made fiercer by 
his victory, 

Isalcas stood near ; he came from Cinyps,* and his 
weapon was a shining axe ; his ambition, poor wretch, 
was to fight and win glory under the eyes of Mago, 

253 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Sidonia tumidus sponsa vanoque superbus 290 

foedere promissae post Dardana proelia taedae. 

huic immittit atrox violentas Appius iras 

conantique gravem fronti librare securim, 

altior insurgens, galeam super exigit ictum. 

at fragilis valido conamine solvitur ensis 295 

aere in Cinyphio ; nee dispar sortis Isalcas 

umbonem incerto detersit futilis ictu. 

turn quod humo baud umquani valuisset tollere saxum, 

ni vires trux ira daret, contorquet anhelans 

Appius et lapsu resupino in terga cadentem 300 

mole premit scopuli perfractisque ossibus urget. 

vidit coniuncto miscens certamina campo 

labentem socer, et lacrimae sub casside fusae 

cum gemitu, rapidusque ruit ; data foedera nuper 

accendunt animos expectatique nepotes. 305 

iamqueaderat clipeumque viri atque immania membra 

lustrabat visu, propiorque a fronte coruscae 

lux galeae saevas paulum tardaverat iras. 

baud secus, e specula praeceps delatus opaca, 

subsidens campo summissos contrahit artus, 310 

cum vicina trucis conspexit cornua tauri, 

quamvis longa fames stimulet, leo ; nunc ferus alta 

surgentes cervice toros, nunc torva sub hirta 

lumina miratur fronte ac iam signa moventem 

et sparsa pugnas meditantem spectat harena. 315 

hie prior intorquens telum sic Appius infit : 

" si qua tibi pietas, ictum ne desere foedus 

" That is, his prospective father-in-law. Mago was 
Hannibal's brother and one of his chief officers. 
254 



PUNICA, V. 290-317 

his father-in-law " ; for he was proud of his Cartha- 
ginian bride-to-be, and flattered by the vain promise 
that, when war with Rome was over, they should be 
wedded. HFieree Appius turned his furious rage 
against Isalcas, and, rising to his full height, delivered 
his stroke at the helmet, while the other sought to 
aim his heavy axe at the forehead. But the brittle 
sword broke against the helmet of the Cinyphian, 
so sturdy was the stroke. Nor was Isalcas more 
fortunate : he missed his mark and only cut off the 
boss of the Roman's shield. Then Appius, breathing 
hard, swung aloft a stone, which he could never have 
lifted from the ground but for the strength that anger 
gave him, and crushed his foe as he fell backwards 
with the heavy boulder, and rammed it down upon 
the shattered bones. , Mago, who was fighting not 
far away, groaned when he saw his son-in-law fall, 
and the tears fell behind his helmet. Then he rushed 
up in haste ; the marriage he had lately approved, 
and his hope of grandchildren, stirred his rage. On 
he came and surveyed the shield and the huge limbs 
of Appius ; and the light that shone from the front 
of the gleaming helmet, seen at close quarters, cooled 
his fierce wrath for a space. So a lion, that has rushed 
down from a wooded height, crouches down upon the 
plain and gathers his limbs under him, when he sees 
hard by the horns of a fierce bull, even though long 
fasting urges him on ; the beast stares now at the 
starting muscles on the great neck, and now at the 
savage eyes beneath the shaggy forehead, and 
watches the bull preparing for action and pawing 
the dust in readiness for fight. And now Appius 
was first to brandish his spear, and thus he spoke : 
*' If you feel the ties of kindred, then be true to the 

255 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et generum comitare socer." per tegmina velox 

tunc aerisque moras laevo stetit hasta lacerto. 

at contra non dicta Libys, sed fervidus hast am 320 

perlibrat, magni donum memorabile fratris, 

caeso quam victor sub moenibus ille Sagunti 

abstulerat Durio ac spectatae nobile pugnae 

germano dederat portare in proelia pignus. 

telum ingens perque arma viri perque ora, doloris 325 

adiutum nisu, letalem pertulit ictum ; 

exsanguesque viri conantis vellere ferrum 

in vulnus cecidere manus. iacet aequore nomen 

clarum Maeonio atque Italae pars magna ruinae 

Appius ; intremuere lacus, corpusque refugit 330 

contractis Thrasymennus aquis ; telum ore cruento 

expirans premit atque admorsae immurmurat hastae. 

Nee fati melior Mamercus corpore toto 
exsolvit poenas, nulli non saucius hosti. 
namque per adversos, qua Lusitana ciebat 335 

pugnas dira manus, raptum cum sanguine caesi 
signiferi magna vexillum mole ferebat 
et trepida infelix revocabat signa suorum. 
sed furiata cohors ausisque accensa superbis, 
quodcumque ipsa manu gestabat missile, quicquid 
praebebat tellus, sparsis vix pervia telis, 341 

iniecit pariter, pluresque in corpore nullum 
invenere locum perfossis ossibus hastae. 

Advolat interea, fraterni vulneris ira 
turbatus, Libyae ductor ; visoque cruore, 345 



" Maeonian = Lydian= Etruscan : see note to iv. 721. 
'' Portuguese. 
256 



PUNICA, V. 318-345 

alliance you have formed, and go where your son- 
in-law has gone." The weapon flew through the 
shield and the brazen armour, and stuck fast in the 
left shoulder. Mago made no reply, but fiercely 
levelled his spear, the famous gift that his great 
brother gave him ; for beneath the walls of Saguntum 
Hannibal had taken it from Durius whom he had 
conquered and slain, and had given it to his brother 
to bear in battle, the glorious token of a famous 
contest. The huge weapon, made more formidable 
by the rage of the thrower, passed through the helmet 
and the head of Appius, dealing a fatal wound. His 
bloodless hands, seeking to pluck forth the weapon, 
fell helpless upon the wound. Low on the Maeonian ** 
plain lies Appius, that famous name ; and much of 
Italy's might fell with him. The lake shivered, and 
Trasimene withdrew its waters from contact with the 
body. The bleeding mouth of the dying man closed 
on the weapon and muttered as it bit the spear. 

Nor was Mamercus more fortunate : he suffered in 
every limb and was wounded by every foe. He had 
killed a standard-bearer and seized the heavy stan- 
dard ; and now he was carrying it through the enemy's 
ranks, where a fierce company of Lusitanians ^ were 
fighting. He was rallying the wavering eagles of the 
Romans, when the Lusitanians, maddened to fury by 
his bold action, hurled at the unhappy man every 
weapon they carried themselves or that they could 
pick up from the ground, covered so thick with missiles 
that movement was scarce possible. Even his bones 
were pierced ; and scarce could half of the spears 
find room in his body. 

Meanwhile Hannibal came up in haste, stirred to 
anger by his brother's wound. Distracted at sight 

257 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

num lateri cuspis, num toto pondere telum 

sedisset, fratremque amens sociosque rogabat. 

utque metum leti procul et leviora pavore 

cognovit, proprio tectum gestamine praeceps 

ex acie rapit et tutis a turbine pugnae 350 

constituit castris. medicas hinc ocius artes 

et senioris opem Synhali vocat ; unguere vulnus 

herbarum hie sucis ferrumque e corpore cantu 

exigere et somnum tacto misisse chelydro, 

anteibat cunctos, nomenque erat inde per urbes 355 

perque Paraetoniae celebratum litora Syrtis. 

ipse olim antique primum Garamanticus Hammon 

scire pater dederat Synhalo, morsusque ferarum 

telorumque graves ictus sedare medendo. 

atque is deinde suo moriens caelestia dona 360 

monstravit nato, natusque heredis honori 

tramisit patrias artes ; quern deinde secutus 

baud levior fama Synhalus Garamantica sollers 

monstrata augebat studio multaque vetustum 

Hammonis comitem numerabat imagine patrem. 365 

turn, proavita ferens leni medicamina dextra, 

ocius, intortos de more astrictus amictus, 

mulcebat lympha purgatum sanguine vulnus. 

at Mago, exuvias secum caesique volutans 

hostis mente necem, fraternas pectore curas 370 

pellebat dictis et casum laude levabat : 

** parce metu, germane, meis medicamina nulla 

adversis maiora feres ; iacet Appius hasta 

« See i. 412. 

* See note to ill. 225. 
" See note to i. 415. 

** The first Synhalus was so famous that busts of him were 
often to be seen. 

* The object was presumably to leave their hands free. 
258 



PUNICA, V. 346-373 

of the blood, he kept asking Mago and his companions 
whether the wound was in the body, and whether 
the spear had struck home with all its weight. When 
he heard better news than he dreaded, and that 
danger of death was remote, he covered Mago with 
his own shield, and hurried him off the field, and 
lodged him in the camp, safe from the storm of battle. 
Next he made haste to summon the skill of the healer 
and the aid of ancient Synhalus. Synhalus surpassed 
all men in anointing a wound with the juices of 
simples ; he could draw a weapon forth from the body 
by incantation and send snakes to sleep by stroking 
them.** Hence his fame was great through the cities 
of Libya and the shores of Egyptian ^ Syrtis. In 
ancient days the first Synhalus had learnt from his 
father, Ammon*' himself, the deity of the Garaman- 
tes, how to give relief and healing to men bitten 
by wild beasts or sore wounded in battle ; and he, 
when dying, revealed the divine gift to his son ; 
and the son bequeathed his father's skill, to make 
his heir glorious ; and next in succession came 
this Synhalus, no less famous than his sires. By 
his sagacity and by study he added to the lore of 
Ammon, and could point to his ancestor, the ancient 
comrade of Ammon, on many a bust.** Now with 
healing hand he brought the remedies his ancestors 
had used ; his garments were wound tightly about 
his loins, as the custom of physicians is ^ ; and quickly 
he cleansed the wound of blood and soothed it by 
washing. But Mago, reflecting on the death and 
spoiling of his foe, comforted his brother by his words, 
and made light of a mishap so glorious : ** Fear no- 
thing, brother," he said. " You can apply no more 
potent remedy to my suffering than this — that Appius 

259 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ad manes pulsus nostra, si vita relinquat, 

sat nobis actum est, sequar hostem laetus ad umbras." 

Quae dum turbatos avertunt aequore campi 376 
ductores valloque tenent, ex agmine Poenum 
cedentem consul tumulo speculatus ab alto 
atque atram belli castris se condere nubem, 
turbidus extemplo trepidantes milite lecto^ 380 

invadit cuneos subitoque pavore relaxat 
lam rarescentes acies ; turn voce feroci 
poscit equum ac mediae ruit in certamina vallis. 
sic ubi torrentem crepitanti grandine nimbum 
illidit terris molitus lupiter altas 385 

fulmine nunc Alpes, nunc mixta Ceraunia caelo, 
intremuere simul tellus et pontus et aether, 
ipsaque commoto quatiuntur Tartara mundo. 
incidit attonitis inopino turbine Poenis 
haud secus improvisa lues, gelidusque sub ossa 390 
pervasit miseris conspecti consulis horror, 
it medius ferroque ruens densissima latum 
pandit iter, clamor vario discrimine vocum 
fert belli rabiem ad superos et sidera pulsat. 
ceu pater Oceanus cum saeva Tethye Calpen 395 
Herculeam ferit atque exesa in viscera montis 
contortum pelagus latrantibus ingerit undis : 
dant gemitum scopuli, fractasque in rupibus undas 
audit Tartessus latis distermina terris, 
audit non parvo divisus gurgite Lixus. 400 

Ante omnes iaculo tacitas fallente per auras 

^ lecto Heinsius : laeto edd. 



" Hannibal is the cloud. 

* A mountain-range on the west coast of Epirus. 

" Calpe (Gibraltar) is one of the Pillars of Hercules. 

•* See note to vi. 1 

260 



PUNICA, V. 374-401 

lies low, sent to the nether world by my spear. Even 
if I lose my life, I have done enough and shall gladly 
follow my foe to the shades." 

While this mischance disturbed the leaders, taking 
them from the battle-field and penning them in the 
camp, Flaminius, watching from a high mound, saw 
Hannibal leave the fighting-line and the black cloud 
of war « disappear within the camp. At once in fury 
he attacked the wavering enemy with a picked force, 
and the sudden alarm opened up the ranks that were 
already growing thin ; then he called fiercely for his 
horse, and rushed into the conflict in the centre of 
the valley. So, when Jupiter smites the earth with 
pouring rain and crackling hail, and stirs with his 
thunderbolt now the Alpine heights and now the 
Ceraunian ^ mountains that reach to heaven, earth 
and sea and sky all quake together, and Tartarus 
itself is shaken in the convulsion of the universe. 
Even so the sudden storm of unforeseen destruction 
fell upon the startled Carthaginians, and cold terror 
made its way into their bones, when they saw the 
consul. He rode through their midst, making a wide 
passage and hewing down with his sword the ranks 
where they were thickest. The shouting with all its 
discordant cries carried the madness of war to heaven, 
and struck the stars. So Father Ocean together with 
raging Tethys beats on Calpe,*' a Pillar of Hercules, 
and drives the churned-up sea with its roaring waves 
into the hollow interior of the mountain ; the cliffs 
bellow ; and the crash of the breakers on the rocks 
is heard by Tartessus^ far-parted by broad lands, and 
heard by Lixus * across a great space of sea. 

Bogus / was the first to fall, by a javelin that came 

• A river and town in Morocco. ' See iv. 131. 

261 



SILIUS TTALICUS 

occumbit Bogus, infaustum qui primus ad amnem 
Ticini rapidam in Rutulos contorserat hastam. 
ille sibi longam Clotho turbamque nepotum 
crediderat, vanis deceptus in alite signis. 405 

sed non augurio Parcarum impellere metas 
concessum cuiquam : ruit inter tela cruentis 
suspiciens oculis caelum superosque reposcit 
tempora promissae media iam morte senectae. 
nee Bagaso exultare daturve impune relictum, 410 
consulis ante oculos vita spoliasse Libonem. 
laurigeris decus illud avis navaque iuventa 
florebat ; sed Massylus succiderat ensis 
pubescente caput mala, properoque virentes 
delerat leto bellator barbarus annos. 415 

Flaminium implorasse tamen iam morte suprema 
baud frustra fuit ; avulsa est nam protinus hosti 
ore simul cervix ; iuvit punire feroci 
victorem exemplo et monstratum reddere letum. 

Quis deus, o Musae, paribus tot funera verbis 420 
evolvat ? tantisque umbris in carmine digna 
quis lamenta ferat ? certantes laude cadendi 
primaevos iuvenes mortisque in limine cruda 
facta virum et fixis rabiem sub pectore telis ? 
sternitur alternus vastis concursibus hostis, 425 

nee spoliare vacat praedaeque advertere mentem. 
urget amor caedum, clausis dum detinet hostem 
fraternum castris vulnus, fundi tque ruitque 
nunc iaculis, nunc ense, modo inter milia consul 
bellantum conspectus equo, modo Marte feroci 430 
ante aquilas et signa pedes, fluit impia rivis 

262 



PUNICA, V. 402-431 

stealing noiselessly through the sky. He had launched 
the first flying spear against the Romans by the ill- 
omened river of Ticinus. Beguiled by deceitful 
omens from birds, he had believed that he would 
live long and see many children of his children. 
But no man may postpone by augury the date that 
Fate has fixed. He fell in the battle, looking up 
to heaven with blood-shot eyes, and calling upon 
the gods, even as he died, to redeem their promise 
of old age. Nor might Bagasus triumph or escape 
unpunished, when he had slain Libo in the consul's 
sight. Libo's ancestors had won laurels, and he was 
glorious in his vigorous youth ; but the sword of the 
Massylian cut off the head on which the beard was 
just growing, and the savage warrior cut down by an 
early death the blossom of youth. But he cried to 
Flaminius, even as life left him, and his cry was not 
vain ; for, head and all, the foeman's neck was instantly 
shorn away : glad was he to imitate the conqueror's 
cruelty and to slay him even as he had slain. 

Ye Muses, what god could narrate so many deaths 
in fitting language ? What poet could utter a dirge 
worthy of the mighty dead ? Who could tell of the 
striplings contending with one another for the prize 
of death ; of the brave deeds done on the brink of 
the grave ; of the fury that filled breasts pierced 
with wounds ? Foe clashed furiously against foe and 
fell ; and none found time to spoil his victim or think 
of plunder. They were driven on by thirst for blood, 
while Hannibal was kept close in camp by his brother's 
wound. Among the myriad warriors Flaminius, 
spreading destruction with javelin or sword, was now 
conspicuous on horseback, and now fought fiercely 
on foot, in front of the eagles and standards. The 

263 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sanguineis vallis, tumulique et concava saxa 
armorum sonitus flatusque imitantur equorum. 

Miscebat campum, membrorum in proelia portans 
Celsius humano robur, visaque paventes 435 

mole gigantei vertebat corporis alas 
Othrys Marmarides ; lati super agmen utrumque 
ingens tollebant humeri caput, hirtaque torvae 
frontis caesaries et crinibus aemula barba 
umbrabat rictus ; squalore hie hispida diro 440 

et villosa feris horrebat pectora saetis. 
aspirare viro propioremque addere Martem 
haud ausum cuiquam : laxo ceu belua campo 
incessebatur tutis ex agmine telis. 
tandem vesanos palantum in terga ferenti 445 

cum fremitu vultus tacita per nubila penna 
intravit torvum Gortynia lumen harundo 
avertitque virum. fugientis ad agmina consul 
intorquet tergo iaculum, quod tegmine nudas 
irrupit costas hirtoque a pectore primum 450 

mucronem ostendit. rapidus convellere tentat, 
qua nasci ferrum fulgenti cuspide cernit, 
donee, abundanter defuso sanguine, late 
procubuit moriens et telum vulnere pressit. 
spiritus exundans vicinum pulvere moto 455 

perflavit campum et nubem dispersit in auras. 

Nee minor interea tumulis silvisque fremebat 
diversis Mavors, variaque per ardua pugna 
et saxa et dumi rorantes caede nitebant, 
exitium trepidis letique et stragis acerbae 460 

« See note to ii. 90. 
264 



PUNICA, V. 432-460 

accursed valley ran with blood ; and the hills and 
hollow rocks echoed the clashing of arms and the 
snorting of horses. 

The combatants were scattered by Othrys of Mar- 
marica, who brought to battle superhuman strength 
and stature ; and the mere sight of his huge frame 
turned the Roman troops to flight. His giant head 
rose on broad shoulders high over both armies, and 
his mouth was hidden by the shaggy locks that grew 
on his grim forehead, and by a beard that rivalled 
his hair ; a matted growth of bristles, like a wild 
beast's fell, covered his hairy chest. None dared to 
challenge him or fight him at close quarters : like a 
wild beast in the open plain, he was assailed by 
missiles thrown from a safe distance by the host. At 
last as, shouting loud, he rushed with furioiis face 
against the backs of the straggling Romans, a 
Cretan ° arrow, flying noiselessly through the air, 
pierced his threatening eye and stopped his course. 
As he fled to the main body, Flaminius cast a javelin 
at his back ; and it pierced the undefended ribs and re- 
vealed its point sticking out beyond the shaggy breast. 
Quickly he strove to pluck it forth, where he saw the 
bright steel point protrude. At last, after losing much 
blood, he fell forward in death, covering much ground, 
and hid the weapon with his wounded breast. His 
breath, as it poured forth, stirred the dust, blowing 
over the plain beside him and raising a cloud into 
the sky. 

Meanwhile, fighting as fierce went raging on, 
over the scattered hills and woods ; and rocks and 
thickets were wet and red with manifold encounters 
fought over the rough ground. Sychaeus was the 
destroyer of the fugitives, bringing death upon them 

Q.Q5 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

causa Sychaeus erat ; Murranum ille eminus hasta 
perculerat, quo non alius, cum bella silerent, 
dulcius Oeagrios pulsabat pectine nervos. 
occubuit silva in magna patriosque sub ipso 
quaesivit montes leto ac felicia Baccho 465 

Aequana et Zephyro Surrentum molle salubri. 
addiderat misero comitem pugnaeque ferocis 
gaudebat tristi victor novitate Sychaeus. 
palantes nam dum sequitur, pervaserat altam 
in silvam et priscae reclinis ab ictibus ulmi 470 

terga tuebatur trunco frustraque relictos 
Tauranus comites suprema voce ciebat. 
transegit iuvenem, ac perfossis incita membris 
haesit in opposito cuspis Sidonia ligno. 

Quid vobis ? quaenam ira deum, vel mente sinistra 
quae sedit formido, viri ? qui, Marte relicto, 476 

ramorum quaesistis opem. non aequus in artis 
nimirum rebus suasor metus ; arguit asper 
exitus eventu pravi consulta timoris. 
annosa excelsos tendebat in aethera ramos 480 

aesculus, umbrosum magnas super ardua silvas 
nubibus insertans altis caput, instar, aperto 
si staret campo, nemoris lateque tenebat 
frondosi nigra tellurem roboris umbra, 
par iuxta quercus, longum molita per aevum 485 

vertice canenti proferre sub astra cacumen, 
difFusas patulo laxabat stipite frondes 
umbrabatque coma summi fastigia mentis, 
hue Hennaea cohors, Triquetris quam miserat oris 

*• Oeagrus, a Thracian, was father of Orpheus. 

" Now Sorrento, on the coast of Campania. 

" Hiero II., king of Syracuse, a staunch ally of Rome: 
Arethusa is a fountain in Syracuse. For Henna see note to 
i. 93. 



J 



PUNICA, V. 461-489 

and untimely slaughter. His spear struck down from 
afar Murranus, who, in times of peace, was surpassed 
by none in drawing sweet strains from the lyre of 
Orpheus." He fell in a great forest and even in death 
recalled the mountains of his home, the vine-clad 
Aequan hills and soft Surrentum ^ with its healthful 
breezes. Then Sychaeus sent another to keep com- 
pany with Murranus ; and the conqueror rejoiced in 
the strange manner of that cruel death. For Tau- 
ranus, while following the stragglers, had found his 
way to a high wood, where he leant his back against 
an ancient elm-tree and tried to shield himself with 
its trunk against attack ; and there with his last 
words he summoned the comrades he had left behind. 
In vain ; for the spear of Sychaeus pierced him, and, 
after swiftly passing through his body, lodged in the 
tree that stood in its path. 

What ailed ye, O men ? Was it divine wrath or 
disastrous panic that possessed your minds, when you 
gave up fighting and sought help in trees ? Fear is 
indeed an evil counsellor in danger : the stern issue 
proved that cowardice gives bad advice. An ancient 
oak grew there, which shot its tall branches to the 
sky, thrusting its shady top into the clouds and 
towering over the forest ; had it grown on the open 
plain, it would have looked like a whole grove ; and 
it covered a wide space of ground with the dark shade 
of its foliage. Beside it grew another oak of equal 
size, that had striven for centuries to exalt its hoary 
head to the sky ; the spreading trunk was crowned 
with a vast circle of leafage that overshadowed the 
top of the mountain. Hither flew in haste men of 
Henna, whom the king of Arethusa ^ had sent from 

267 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

rex, Arethusa, tuus, defendere nescia morti 490 

dedecus et mentem nimio mutata pavore, 

certatim sese tulit ascendensque vicissim 

pressit nutantes incerto pondere ramos. 

mox alius super atque alius consistere tuto 

dum certant, pars excussi (nam fragmine putri 495 

ramorum et senio male fida fefellerat arbor) 

pars trepidi celso inter tela cacumine pendent. 

turbatos una properans consumere peste, 

corripit aeratam iam dudum in bella bipennem, 

deposito clipeo mutatus tela, Sychaeus. 600 

incumbunt sociae dextrae, magnoque fragore 

pulsa gemit, crebris suceumbens ictibus, arbos. 

fluctuat infelix concusso stipite turba, 

ceu Zephyrus quatit antiques ubi flamine lucos, 

fronde super tremuli vix tota cacuminis haerens 505 

iactatur, nido pariter nutante, volucris. 

procubuit tandem multa devicta securi 

sufFugium infelix miseris et inhospita quercus 

elisitque virum spatiosa membra ruina. 

Inde aliae cladum facies. contermina caedis 510 
collucet rapidoque involvitur aesculus igni. 
iamque inter frondes, arenti robore gliscens 
verticibus saevis, torquet Vulcanus anhelos 
cum fervore globos flammarum et culmina torret. 
nee tela interea cessant. semusta gementum 515 
atque amplexa cadunt ardentes corpora ramos. 

Haec inter miseranda virum certamina consul 
ecce aderat, volvens iram exitiumque Sychaeo. 
at iuvenis dubio tantae discrimine pugnae 
occupat eventum telo tentare priorem ; 520 






" The fire-god is represented as doing the work of fire 
see iv. 681. 

268 



PUNICA, V. 490-520 

Sicily ; they knew not how to preserve death from 
disgrace, and they were mad with terror. One after 
another they cHmbed aloft and bent the swaying 
branches with their shifting weight. Then, as one 
climbed above another in his eagerness to reach a 
place of safety, some fell to the ground, deceived by 
the rotten boughs and decay of the treacherous tree, 
while others hung in terror in the lofty tree-top, a 
mark for missiles. Eager to destroy them all in 
their distress by the same death, Sychaeus changed 
his weapon : he laid down his shield and caught up at 
once his brazen battle-axe. His comrades lent a hand, 
and the tree, yielding to repeated blows, creaked with 
a crashing sound. The wretched fugitives toss to 
and fro when the trunk is smitten ; as, when the 
blast of the West- wind rocks ancient groves, the bird 
and her nest also are tossed about, and she can 
scarce find foothold on the swaying tree-top. At 
last the unfriendly oak, a sorry refuge in trouble, 
fell under the blows of many axes, and crushed the 
men's limbs in its far-spreading downfall. 

Other forms of disaster followed. The other oak, 
close to the scene of slaughter, took fire and was soon 
wrapped in flames. And now among the leaves, spread- 
ing with fierce eddies over the dry wood, Vulcan « 
brandished tongues of fire with panting heat and 
scorched the topmost branches. And all the time 
the shooting went on ; and half-burnt bodies, 
clutching at blazing branches, fell shrieking to the 
ground. 

In the midst of these pitiful conflicts, see ! Fla- 
minius arrives, with wrath in his heart and destruction 
for Sychaeus. The young man, fearing the danger of 
so mighty a duel, was first to try his fortune with his 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

cui medio leviter clipeo stetit aeris in ora 
cuspis et oppositas vetita est tramittere crates, 
sed non et consul misso concredere telo 
fortunam optatae caedis parat ac latus ense 
haurit ; nee crudae tardarunt tegmina parmae. 525 
labitur infelix atque appetit ore cruento 
tellurem expirans. turn, difFundente per artus 
frigore se Stygio, manantem in viscera mortem 
accipit et longo componit lumina somno. 

Atque ea dum variis permixtus tristia Mavors 530 
casibus alternat, iam castris Mago relictis, 
iam Libyae ductor properantia signa citato 
raptabant cursu et cessata reponere avebant 
tempora caede virum ac multo pensare cruore. 
it globus intorquens nigranti turbine nubem 535 

pulveris, et surgit sublatis campus harenis ; 
quaque ferens gressum flectit vestigia ductor, 
undanti circum tempestas acta procella 
volvitur atque altos operit caligine montes. 
occubuere femur Fontanus, Buta canorum 540 

transfixi guttur, pressoque e vulnere cuspis 
prospexit terga : hunc tristes luxere Fregellae 
multiplicem proavis, hunc mater Anagnia flevit. 
baud dispar fortuna tibi, Laevine, sed auso 
non eadem ; neque enim Tyrio concurrere regi 545 
tentas, sed lectus par ad certamen Ithemon, 
Autololum moderator, erat ; quem poplite caeso 
dum spoliat, gravis immiti cum turbine costas 
fraxinus irrupit, collapsaque membra sub ictu 
hoste super fuso subita cecidere ruina. 550 



•* Fregellae was an ancient Volscian town : Anagnia was 
the chief town of the Hernici : both were near Rome. 

270 



PUNICA, V. 521-550 

spear ; but the weapon lodged lightly on the brazen 
plate in the centre of the shield, unable to pierce 
the wicker-work in its path. The consul, unlike his 
rival, was not willing to trust to his spear for success 
in the victory he desired : he stabbed Sychaeus in 
the body with his sword ; and the round shield of 
raw leather failed to stop it. The victim fell and, as 
he died, bit the earth with bleeding mouth. Then, 
as the fatal chill spread through his frame, and death 
made its way to his vital parts, he suffered it, and 
closed his eyes in eternal sleep. 

While the battle went on thus, with varying fortune 
and such scenes of horror, Mago and Hannibal had 
already left the camp, and were hurrying their troops 
on with speedy march, eager to make up for lost time 
by slaying Romans, and to make it good by much 
bloodshed. On came their troops, raising a black 
cloud of whirling dust ; the sand rose and lifted 
the soil with it ; and, wherever Hannibal moved and 
turned his steps, the storm of war, driven by a billowy 
tempest, rolled in all directions and veiled the high 
mountains with darkness. Fontanus fell, pierced 
in the thigh ; pierced was the throat of Buta, the 
minstrel, and the spear-point stuck out beyond the 
sore wound and beheld his back. The first, a man of 
long descent, was mourned by Fregellae ° ; and his 
native Anagnia wept for the other. Laevinus fared no 
better, though he had been less bold ; not daring to 
challenge Hannibal, he had chosen Ithemon, a captain 
of Autololes, as a fitting rival. Him he had ham- 
strung and was stripping him, when the heavy 
ashen spear with furious force broke in his ribs : 
and he collapsed under the blow and fell instantly 
on the corpse of his prostrate foe. 

271 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Nee Sidieina eohors defit. Viriasius armat 
mille viros, nulli vietus vel ponere eastra, 
vel iunxisse ratem duroque resolvere muros 
ariete et in turrim subitos immittere pontes, 
quern postquam Libyae duetor virtute feroci 655 

exultare videt (namque illi vulnere praeeeps 
terga dabat levibus diffisus Araurieus armis) 
acrius hoc, pulehro Mavorte aeeensus in iram 
et dignum sese ratus in certamina saevo 
comminus ire viro, referenti e corpore telum 660 

advolat et fodiens pectus : " laudande laborum, 
quisquis es, haud alia decuit te occumbere dextra. 
ad manes leti perfer decus. Itala gentis 
ni tibi origo foret, vita donatus abires." 
hinc Fadum petit et veterem bellare Labicum, 565 
cui Siculis quondam terris congressus Hamilcar 
clarum spectato dederat certamine nomen. 
immemor annorum seniumque oblitus, in arma 
ille quidem cruda mente et viridissimus irae 
ibat, sed vani frigentem in Marte senectam 570 

prodebant ictus ; stipula crepitabat inani 
ignis iners cassamque dabat sine robore flammam. 
quem postquam accepit patrio monstrante superbus 
armigero Poenum duetor : " certamina primae 
hie lue nunc," inquit, " pugnae ; te notus Hamilcar 
hactrahit ad manes dextra." turn librat ab aure 576 
intorquens iaculum et versantem in vulnere sese 
transigit. extracta foedavit cuspide sanguis 
canitiem et longos finivit morte labores. 

" Teanum Sidicinum is the full name of this Campanian 
city. 

^ This must have been in the First Punic War. 
272 



PUNICA, V. 551-579 

Nor were the men of Sidicinum « backward. A 
thousand of them served under Viriasius, who had no 
superior in pitching a camp or building a raft or 
battering walls with the tough ram or planting im- 
provised gangways against a tower. But Hannibal 
saw him exulting in his prowess, because Arauricus, 
distrusting his light armour, fled wounded before him 
in hot haste ; and his ardour was kindled by the 
prospect of a glorious combat ; and he thought it not 
beneath him to close in conflict with the fierce warrior. 
As Viriasius drew his spear forth from the body of 
Arauricus, Hannibal rushed up and stabbed him in 
the breast, crying : " Famous fighter, whoever you 
are, you deserved to fall by no hand but mine ; carry 
down to the shades the glory of your death ; had not 
the land of Italy given you birth, I should have 
suffered you to depart alive." Next he attacked 
Fadus and the veteran Labicus, whom Hamilcar had 
once fought in Sicily ^ and made famous by a memor- 
able contest. Unmindful of his years and forgetting 
his age, he came forth now to battle. He kept his 
youthful ardour and all the passion of youth ; but 
his feeble blows betrayed the weakness of the aged 
warrior : so a fire of straw crackles to no purpose 
and blazes up with no strength and no effect. When 
Hannibal learnt his name from Hamilcar 's armour- 
bearer, he cried exultingly : ** Here and now you 
shall pay the penalty for the first battle in which you 
fought : the famous Hamilcar uses my arm to send 
you down to the shades." Then he raised a javelin 
to his ear and threw it, and then ran him through as 
he lay writhing upon his wound. When the weapon 
was drawn forth, the blood defiled his grey hairs, and 
death ended his long service. Herminius likewise was 

273 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nee minus Herminium primis obtruneat in armis, 580 
assuetum, Thrasymenne, tuos praedantibus hamis 
exhaurire laeus patriaeque alimenta senectae 
ducere suspense per stagna iacentia lino. 

Interea exanimum maesti super arma Sychaeum 
portabant Poeni corpusque in castra ferebant. 585 
quos ubi conspexit tristi clamore ruentes 
ductor, praesago percussus pectora luctu : 
" quinam," inquit, " dolor, o socii, quemve ira deorum 
eripuit nobis ? num te, dulcedine laudis 
flagrantem et nimio primi Mavortis amore, 590 

atra, Sychaee, dies properato funere carpsit ? " 
utque dato gemitu lacrimae assensere ferentum, 
et dictus pariter caedis maerentibus auctor : 
** cerno," ait, " adverso pulchrum sub pectore vulnus 
cuspidis Iliacae. dignus Carthagine, dignus 595 

Hasdrubale ad manes ibis ; nee te optima mater 
dissimilem lugebit avis, Stygiave sub umbra 
degenerem cernens noster vitabit Hamilcar. 
at mihi Flaminius, tam maesti causa deloris, 
morte sua minuat luctus. haec pompa sequetur 600 
exequias, seroque emptum volet impia Roma, 
non violasse mei corpus mucrone Sychaei." 

Sic memorans torquet fumantem ex ore vaporem, 
iraque anhelatum proturbat pectore murmur, 
ut multo accensis fervore exuberat undis, 605 

clausus ubi exusto liquor indignatur aeno. 
tum praeceps ruit in medios solumque fatigat 
Flaminium incessens ; nee dicto segnius ille 

274 



PUNICA, V. 580-608 

slain in his first battle by Hannibal — Herminius who 
was wont to pillage Lake Trasimene and draw forth 
the fish with his hook, pulling out food for his ancient 
father with a line that hung over the motionless pools. 

Meanwhile the sorrowing Carthaginians raised the 
Hfeless body of Sychaeus upon his shield and bore it 
to the camp. When Hannibal saw them hasting with 
loud lament, his heart was stricken with foreboding 
grief. " Why mourn ye thus, comrades ? " he asked : 
*' Whom have the angry gods taken from us ? Is it 
you, Sychaeus, burning with desire of glory and too 
eager in your first battle, whom the black death-day 
has cut off before your time ? " When the tears of 
the mourners answered his question, and when they 
told at the same time the name of the slayer, Hanni- 
bal spoke thus : "I see the glorious wound of the 
Roman spear on the front of your body. You will 
go down to the shades, worthy of Carthage, worthy 
of Hasdrubal ; your good mother will mourn you as 
a true descendant of your ancestors ; and, when my 
father Hamilcar meets you in the darkness of Hades, 
he will not shun you as degenerate. My own grief 
shall be lessened by the death of Flaminius, the 
author of our sorrow. He shall be the escort that 
follows you to the grave ; and wicked Rome shall 
dearly repent too late the stroke that robbed my 
beloved Sychaeus of life." 

While he spoke thus, a reeking steam issued from 
his mouth, and a hoarse inarticulate sound came forth 
from his furious breast, as water overflows with fire- 
heated waves, when it rages angrily, confined in the 
burnt cauldron. Then he rushed headlong into the 
fray, and singled out Flaminius for attack, taunt- 
ing him ; and Flaminius was ready for battle on 

275 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

bella capessebat ; propiorque insurgere Mavors 
coeperat, et campo iunctus iam stabat uterque, 610 
cum subitus per saxa fragor, motique repente, 
horrendum, colles et summa cacumina totis 
intremuere iugis ; nutant in vertice silvae 
pinifero, fractaeque ruunt super agmina rupes. 
immugit penitus convulsis ima cavernis 615 

dissiliens tellus nee parvos rumpit hiatus, 
atque umbras late Stygias immensa vorago 
faucibus ostendit patulis ; manesque profundi 
antiquum expavere diem, lacus ater, in altos 
sublatus montes et sede excussus avita, 620 

lavit Tyrrhenas ignota aspergine silvas. 
iamque eadem populos magnorumque oppida regum 
tempestas et dira lues stravitque tulitque. 
ac super haec reflui pugnarunt fontibus amnes, 
et retro fluctus torsit mare ; monte relicto 625 

Apenninicolae fugere ad litora Fauni. 

Pugnabat tamen (heu belli vecordia !) miles, 
iactatus titubante solo, tremebundaque tela, 
subducta tellure ruens, torquebat in hostem, 
donee pulsa vagos cursus ad litora vertit 630 

mentis inops stagnisque illata est Daunia pubes. 
quis consul terga increpitans, nam turbine motae 
ablatus terrae inciderat : " quid deinde, quid, oro, 
restat, io, profugis ? vos en ad moenia Romae 
ducitis Hannibalem ; vos in Tarpeia Tonantis 635 
tecta faces ferrumque datis. sta, miles, et acres 



" This earthquake is not a poetic fiction : the historian 
Livy vouches for it (xxii. c. 5) and assures his readers that 
not one of the combatants was aware of it ; so taken up 
were they with the business in hand. 
276 



PUNICA, V. 609-636 

the instant. The War-god towered up closer, and 
now the pair stood face to face on the field, when 
suddenly there came an awful crash along the cliffs, 
and the heights were shaken and the high peaks 
rocked all along the range ; on the pine-clad summit 
the trees swayed, and fragments of rock rushed down 
upon the armies. Splitting asunder in its lowest 
depths, the earth rumbled in its tortured hollows and 
opened up great chasms ; and the vast gulf, yawn- 
ing wide, revealed the shades below ; and the dead 
in the depths were terrified by the daylight they once 
had known. The dark lake, forced from its ancient 
seat, rose to the height of the mountains, and bathed 
the Tuscan woods with moisture unfelt before. And 
now that same storm and dire catastrophe overthrew 
and destroyed nations and the cities of mighty kings. 
And rivers also flowed backwards and fought against 
their sources ; the sea-waves reversed their course ; 
and the Fauns who dwell on the Apennines left the 
hills and fled towards the coast." 

Yet — alas for the frenzy of war ! — the battle still 
went on ; and the soldiers, though staggering on the 
unsteady ground and falling when the earth with- 
drew beneath them, kept hurling their uncertain 
missiles against the foe. At last the Romans were 
defeated and turned their random flight to the lake- 
shore, and were driven distracted into the water. 
The consul had been separated from them by the 
earthquake ; but now he overtook them and re- 
proached them from behind : " What still remains, 
if you fly now } what, I beseech you ? You are lead- 
ing Hannibal against the walls of Rome ; you are 
giving him fire and sword, to use against the Tarpeian 
shrine of the Thunderer. Stand firm, soldiers, and 
VOL. I K 3 277 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

disce ex me pugnas ; vel, si pugnare negatum, 
disce mori. dabit exemplum non vile futuris 
Flaminius ; ne terga Libys, ne Cantaber umquam 
consulis aspiciat. solus, si tanta libido 640 

est vobis rabiesque fugae, tela omnia solus 
pectore consumo et moriens, fugiente per auras 
hac anima, vestras revocabo ad proelia dextras." 
Dumque ea commemorat densosque obit obvius 
hostes, 
advolat ora ferus mentemque Ducarius. acri 645 
nomen erat gentile viro, fusisque catervis 
Boiorum quondam patriis antiqua gerebat 
vulnera barbaricae mentis ; noscensque superbi 
victoris vultus : ** tune," inquit, " maximus ille 
Boiorum terror ? libet hoc cognoscere telo, 650 

corporis an tanti manet de vulnere sanguis. 
nee vos paeniteat, populares, fortibus umbris 
hoc mactare caput : nostros hie curribus egit 
insistens victos alta ad Capitolia patres. 
ultrix hora vocat." pariter tunc undique fusis 655 
obruitur telis, nimboque ruente per auras 
contectus, nulli dextra iactare reliquit 
Flaminium cecidisse sua. nee pugna perempto 
ulterior ductore fuit ; namque agmine denso 
primores iuvenum, laeva ob discrimina Martis 660 
infensi superis dextrisque et cernere Poenum 
victorem plus morte rati, super ocius omnes 
membra ducis stratosque artus certamine magno 

" See iv. 704 foil. Livy says that Ducarius, belonging to 
the Gallic tribe of the Insubres, himself killed Flaminius. 

'' He suggests in mockery that the general is not, after all, 
invulnerable. 

" When he celebrated a triumph over the Boii : the captives 
278 



PUNICA, V. G37-663 

learn from me to fight bravely ; or, if fight is impos- 
sible, learn how to die. Flaminius shall set a worthy 
example to coming generations. No Libyan, no 
Spaniard, shall ever behold the back of a consul. If 
you are possessed by such a mad passion for flight, 
then single-handed I shall intercept every weapon 
with my own breast ; and, dying, as my soul departs 
through the sky, I shall call your swords back to the 
battle." 

While Flaminius spoke thus and plunged into the 
thickest of the enemy, Ducarius rode up, savage in 
mind as in aspect. That fierce warrior bore a name 
familiar in his tribe, and his savage heart had long 
cherished resentment for the defeat suffered in time 
past by his countrymen, the Boii." Recognizing the 
face of their proud conqueror, he cried : " Art thou 
he whom the Boii so much dreaded ? I intend this 
weapon to decide whether blood will flow, when such 
a hero is wounded.^ And you, my countrymen, shrink 
not from offering up this victim to our noble dead. 
This is the man who stood in the chariot ^ and drove 
our defeated sires to the Capitol. Now the hour of 
vengeance summons him. ' ' Then the consul was over- 
whelmed with missiles that rained from all sides alike; 
and, covered by the shower that hurtled through the 
sky, he left to none the power of boasting that his 
hand had slain Flaminius. When the leader was slain, 
the fighting ceased. For the foremost soldiers closed 
their ranks ; and then, enraged against Heaven and 
themselves for their defeat, and thinking it worse 
than death to see the Carthaginians conquer, they 
hastened eagerly to pile over the body of Flaminius and 

walked in front of their conqueror's chariot to the temple 
of Jupiter. 

279 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

telaque corporaque et non fausto Marte cruentas 
iniecere manus. sic densae caedis acervo, 665 

ceu tumulo, texere virum. turn, strage per undas, 
per silvas sparsa perque altam sanguine vallem, 
in medias fratre invectus comitante catervas 
caesorum iuvenum Poenus : " quae vulnera cernis ! 
quas mortes ! " inquit. '* premit omnis dextera 
ferrum, 670 

armatusque iacet servans certamina miles, 
hos, en, hos obitus nostrae spectate cohort es ! 
fronte minae durant, et stant in vultibus irae. 
et vereor, ne, quae tanta creat indole tellus 
magnanimos fecunda viros, huic fata dicarint 676 

imperium, atque ipsis devincat cladibus orbem." 

Sic fatus cessit nocti ; finemque dedere 
caedibus infusae, subducto sole, tenebrae. 



280 



PUNICA, V. 664-678 

his prostrate limbs their weapons, their bodies, and 
their hands red with the blood of defeat. Thus they 
covered him with a close-packed heap of corpses for 
a tomb. The dead lay scattered in the water, in the 
woods, and in the valley where the blood ran deep, 
when Hannibal rode up with his brother to the centre 
of the carnage : " Do you see these wounds, these 
deaths ? " he said to Mago : ** each hand grasps its 
sword, and the warrior lies in his armour, and still 
maintains the strife. Let our soldiers look and see 
how these men died ! Their brows still frown, and 
martial ardour is fixed upon their faces. It mis- 
gives me that this land, the fertile mother of such 
noble heroes, may be destined to hold empire, and 
may, even by its lost battles, conquer the world." 

Thus Hannibal spoke and then gave way to night ; 
for the sun had vanished, and the coming on of dark- 
ness ended the slaughter. 



281 



LIBER SEXTUS 



ARGUMENT 



Scenes on the field of the lost battle. Flight of the Romans 
(1-61). Serranus, a son of the famous Regulus, is one of the 
fugitives : he reaches the dwelling of Marus, who had been 
his father's squire in Africa : Marus dresses his wounds 
(62-100), and tells the story of Regulus as conqueror and 
as captive (101-551). Mourning and consternation at Rome 
after the defeat. Serranus returns to his mother, Marcia 

lam, Tartessiaco quos solverat aequore Titan 
in noctem difFusus, equos iungebat Eois 
litoribus, primique novo Phaethonte retecti 
Seres lanigeris repetebant vellera lucis, 
et foeda ante oculos strages, propiusque patebat 5 
insani Mavortis opus : simul arma virique 
ac mixtus sonipes dextraeque in vulnere caesi 
haerentes hostis ; passim clipeique iubaeque 
atque artus trunci capitum fractusque iacebat 
ossibus in duris ensis ; nee cernere deerat 10 

frustra seminecum quaerentia lumina caelum, 
tum spumans sanie lacus et fluitantia summo 
aeternum tumulis orbata cadavera ponto. 
Nee tamen adversis ruerat tota Itala virtus. 

" Tartessus, identified by some scholars with the Tarshish 
of Scripture, was a town on the west coast of wSpain : the 
name is often used by the Roman poets to denote the Far 
West and the setting sun : see iii. 399. 
282 



BOOK VI 

ARGUMENT (continued) 

(552-589). The Senate discuss plans of campaign. Jupiter 
prevents Hannibal from marching on Rome. Q. Fabius is 
chosen Dictator (590-618). His wisdom (619-640). Hanni- 
bal marches through Umbria and Picenum to Campania : at 
Liternum he sees on the temple-walls pictures of scenes in the 
First Punic War, and orders them all to he burnt (641-716). 

Now on Eastern shores the Sun was yoking the 
steeds that he had freed in the sea of Tartessus " 
when he scattered his fires for the night ; and the 
Seres, first disclosed by the sunrise, began again to 
pluck fleeces from their wool-bearing trees. ^ Then 
hideous havoc was revealed, and the work of War's 
madness was seen clearer — a medley of arms and men 
and horses, and hands that still clung to the wound 
of a slain enemy. The ground was littered with 
shields and helmet-plumes, with headless corpses and 
swords that had broken against tough bones ; and 
one might see the eyes of half-dead men looking in 
vain for the light. Then there was the lake foaming 
with gore, and the corpses floating on its surface, for 
ever deprived of a grave. 
Yet Roman courage had not utterly collapsed in 

^ The Seres (Chinese) were regarded by the ancients as an 
Indian people ; and it was long believed that silk, like cotton, 
was a vegetable product and grew on trees. 

283 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Bruttius ingenti miserandae caedis acervo, 15 

non aequum ostentans confosso corpora Martem, 

extulerat vix triste caput truncosque trahebat 

per stragem, nervis interlabentibus, artus ; 

tenuis opum, non patre nitens linguave, sed asper 

ense ; nee e Volsca quisquam vir gente redemit 20 

plus aevi nece magnanima. puer addere sese 

pubescente gena castris optarat et acri 

Flaminio spectatus erat, cum Celtica victor 

obrueret bello divis melioribus arma. 

inde honor ac sacrae custodia Marte sub omni 25 

alitis ; hinc causam nutrivit gloria leti. 

namque necis certus, captae prohibere nequiret 

cum Poenos aquilae, postquam subsidere fata 

viderat et magna pugnam inclinare ruina, 

occulere interdum et terrae mandare parabat. 30 

sed, subitis victus telis, labentia membra 

prostravit super atque iniecta morte tegebat. 

verum ubi lux nocte e Stygia miseroque sopore 

reddita, vicini de strage cadaveris hast a 

erigitur, soloque vigens conamine, late 35 

stagnantem caede et facilem discedere terram 

ense fodit, clausamque aquilae infelicis adorans 

effigiem, palmis languentibus aequat harenas. 

supremus fessi tenues tum cessit in auras 

halitus et magnam misit sub Tartara mentem. 40 

luxta cernere erat meritae sibi poscere carmen 
virtu tis sacram rabiem. Laevinus, ab alto 
Priverno, vitis Latiae praesignis honor e, 



" The eagle, the principal ensign of the Roman legion. 
" " Death " must here mean " a dying man." 
284 



PUNICA, VI. 15-43 

the hour of defeat. Bruttius, whose wounded body 
showed his ill-fortune in the battle, slowly raised his 
head from a huge pile of hapless corpses, and dragged 
his mutilated limbs through the carnage with muscles 
that failed him from time to time. He had not wealth 
or noble birth or eloquence ; but his sword was keen, 
and none of the Volscian people gained more glory 
than he by a heroic death. As a boy, before his 
beard grew, he had chosen to join the army, and 
his prowess had been witnessed by brave Flaminius, 
when with better fortune he fought the Celtic 
armies and crushed them. Thus Bruttius won honour 
and guarded the sacred bird " in every battle ; and 
this distinction was the cause of his death. He was 
sure to die ; and, when he could not prevent the 
Carthaginians from taking the eagle, he tried to bury 
it in the ground for the time ; for he saw that fate 
was adverse and the battle was turning into a great 
disaster. But a sudden wound made him throw his 
failing limbs over his charge ; and death ^ lay over 
it to hide it. But, when day returned after a dread- 
ful night of distressful slumber, he raised himself on 
a spear taken from the nearest corpse ; then, exerting 
all his strength for the effort, he dug a hole in the 
earth with his sword ; and the ground, drenched 
in blood all round, parted easily. Next he bowed 
before the buried effigy of the luckless eagle, and 
smoothed the sand over it with strengthless palms. 
Then his last feeble breath went forth into thin air, 
and sent a brave heart to Tartarus. 

Near by one might see an awful frenzy of valour 
that deserves to claim the poet's verse. Laevinus, a 
native of Privernum '^ on the hill, who had earned 
* A town of Latium. 

2S5 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

exanimum Nasamona Tyren super ipse iacebat 
exanimis ; non hasta viro, non ensis ; in artis 45 

abstulerat Fors arma ; tamen certamine nudo 
invenit Marti telum dolor, ore cruento 
pugnatum, ferrique vicem dens praebuit irae. 
iam lacerae nares foedataque lumina morsu, 
iam truncum raptis caput auribus, ipsaque diris 50 
frons depasta modis, et sanguine abundat hiatus ; 
nee satias, donee mandentia linqueret ora 
spiritus, et plenos rictus mors atra teneret. 

Talia dum praebet tristis miracula virtus, 
diverso interea fugientes saucia turba 55 

iactantur casu silvisque per avia caecis 
ablati furtim multo cum vulnere solos 
per noctem metantur agros : sonus omnis et aura 
exterrent pennaque levi commota volucris. 
non sopor aut menti requies : agit asper acerba 60 
nunc Mago attonitos, nunc arduus Hannibal hasta. 

Serranus, clarum nomen, tua, Regule, proles, 
qui, longum semper fama gliscente per aevum, 
infidis servasse fidem memorabere Poenis, 
flore nitens primo, patriis heu Punica bella 65 

auspiciis ingressus erat ; miseramque parentem 
et dulces tristi repetebat sorte penates 
saucius. haud illi comitum super ullus, et atris 



" Each centurion carried a rattan made of vine-wood and 
applied it to the backs of soldiers who were negligent in 
performing their military duties. 

'' Serranus was a name borne by many members of the 
Atilian genSy to which Regulus belonged. Here Silius begins 
a digression of nearly 500 lines (it ends at 1. 551), in which he 
describes the doings and sufferings of Regulus in the First 
Punic War. Regulus was taken prisoner in Africa in 255 
B.C., thirty-eight years before the battle of Lake Trasimene. 
286 



PUNICA, VI. 44-68 

the distinction of the Roman vine-staff,'* lay there 
on the top of Tyres, a Nasamonian ; and both were 
dead. He had neither spear nor sword : Fortune 
had robbed him of his weapons in the hard fight ; 
yet in the unarmed contest rage found a weapon to 
fight with. He had fought with savage mouth, and 
his teeth did the work of steel, to gratify his rage. 
Already the nose of Tyres was torn and the eyes 
marred by the cruel jaws ; the ears were bitten off 
and the head mutilated ; the forehead itself was 
horribly gnawed, and blood streamed from the open 
lips ; nor was Laevinus satisfied, until the breath left 
those champing jaws and dark death arrested the 
crammed mouth. 

While hideous valour displayed such portentous 
deeds, the stricken mob of fugitives were harassed 
meanwhile by a different fate. Covered with wounds, 
they slunk away along pathless tracks in the dark 
forests, and traversed the deserted fields all night. 
They were terrified by every sound, by the breeze, 
and by the stirring of a bird on its light wings. 
Sleep or peace of mind was impossible. Panic- 
stricken, they were driven on now by fierce Mago, 
and now by Hannibal prancing on with relentless 
spear. 

Serranus ^ bore a glorious name : he was the son 
of Regulus, whose fame ever increases with the pass- 
age of time, and of whom it will never be forgotten, 
that he kept faith with the faithless Carthaginians. 
Serranus was in the flower of his youth ; but, alas, 
he had begun the war against Carthage with his 
fiither's ill-fortune, and now, sore-wounded, he sought 
in sad plight to return to his unhappy mother and 
the home he loved. Of his comrades none was left, 

287 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

vulneribus qui ferret opem ; per devia, fractae 
innitens hastae furtoque ereptus opacae 70 

noctis, iter taciturn Perusina ferebat in arva. 
ac fessus parvi, quaecumque ibi fata darentur, 
limina pulsabat tecti, cum membra cubili 
evolvens non tarda Marus (vetus ille parentis 
miles et baud surda tractarat proelia fama) 75 

procedit, renovata focis et paupere Vesta 
lumina praetendens. utque ora agnovit et aegrum 
vulneribus diris ac, lamentabile visu, 
lapsantes fultum truncata cuspide gressus, 
funesti rumore mali iam saucius aures : 80 

" quod scelus, o nimius vitae nimiumque ferendis 
adversis genitus, cerno ? te, maxime, vidi, 
ductorum, cum captivo Carthaginis arcem 
terreres vultu, crimen culpamque Tonantis, 
occidere atque hausi, quem non Sidonia tecta 86 

expulerint eversa meo de corde, dolorem. 
estis ubi en iterum, superi ? dat pectora ferro 
Regulus, ac tantae stirpem periura recidit 
surgentem Carthago domus." inde aegra reponit 
membra toro ; nee ferre rudis medicamina (quippe 90 
callebat bellis) nunc purgat vulnera lympha, 
nunc mulcet sucis : ligat inde ac vellera molli 
circumdat tactu et torpentes mitigat artus. 
exin cura seni, tristem depellere fesso 
ore sitim et parca vires accersere mensa. 95 

quae postquam properata, sopor sua munera tandem 

" A city of Etruria, now Perugia. 

^ In humble households an image of Vesta generally stood 
on or near the hearth. 

" Regulus. 

** Jupiter ought to have defended such a Roman as Regulus 
from such a dreadful fate. 
288 



PUNICA, VI. 69-96 

and there was none to dress his grievous wounds. 
Leaning on a broken spear, and rescued from doom 
by the connivance of dark night, he crept silently 
through bypaths towards the fields of Perusia." 
Worn out, he knocked at the door of a humble dwell- 
ing, whatever fate might meet him there ; and 
Marus was not slow to rise from his bed. Long 
ago Marus had served under Regulus, and the ear of 
Fame had heard of his prowess. Now he came forth, 
holding up a light he had kindled at the poor hearth 
where he worshipped Vesta. ^ He recognized Ser- 
ranus and saw him suffering from dreadful wounds, 
and supporting himself on his halting feet by the 
broken spear — a piteous sight to behold. Rumour of 
the fatal disaster had already wounded his ears; 
and now he cried : " What horror is this I see ! — 
I have lived too long and was born to suffer too 
much adversity. I saw you,*' greatest of generals, 
when, though you were a prisoner, your aspect terri- 
fied the citadel of Carthage ; I witnessed your death, 
a scandal and a shame to the Thunderer ** ; and even 
the destruction of Carthage could never expel from 
my heart the grief I suffered then. And now once 
more, where are ye, ye gods ? A Regulus offers his 
breast to the sword, and perjured Carthage lops off 
the hopeful scion of that mighty house." Next he 
laid the sick man on the bed, and, with the skill in 
medicine which he had learnt in war, now cleansed 
the wounds with water and now applied healing 
simples, binding them up and wrapping them in 
wool with gentle hand, and warming the stiffened 
limbs. The old man's next care was to slake the sick 
man's grievous thirst, and to recall his strength by a 
sparing meal. When all this was quickly done, sleep 

289 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

applicat et mitem fundit per membra quietem. 
necdum exorta dies, Marus instat vulneris aestus 
expertis medicare modis gratumque teporem, 
exutus senium, trepida pietate ministrat. 100 

Hie iuvenis, maestos tollens ad sidera vultus, 
cum gemitu lacrimisque simul : " si culmina nondum 
Tarpeia exosus damnasti sceptra Quirini, 
extremas Italum res Ausoniamque ruentem 
aspice," ait, " genitor ; tandemque adverte procellis 
aequos Iliacis oculos. amisimus Alpes, 106 

nee deinde adversis modus est : Ticinus et ater 
stragibus Eridanus. tuque insignite tropaeis 
Sidoniis Trebia, et tellus lacrimabilis Arni. 
sed quid ego haec ? gravior quanto vis ecce malorum ! 
vidi crescentes Thrasymenni caedibus undas 111 

prostrataque virum mole ; inter tela cadentem 
vidi Flaminium. testor, mea numina, manes 
dignam me poenae tum nobilitate paternae 
strage hostis quaesisse necem, ni tristia letum, 116 
ut quondam patri, nobis quoque fata negassent." 

Cetera acervantem questu lenire laborans 
efFatur senior : " patrio, fortissimo, ritu, 
quicquid adest duri, et rerum inclinata feramus. 
talis lege deum clivoso tramite vitae 120 

per varios praeceps casus rota volvitur aevi ; 
sat tibi, sat magna et totum vulgata per orbem 
stant documenta domus : sacer ille et numine nullo 
inferior, tuus ille parens decora alta paravit 
restando adversis nee virtutem exuit ullam 125 

" Jupiter, ^ See note to iv. 813. 

" Etruria : see note to v. 11. 

<* Regulus, his famous father, is meant. 

S90 



PUNICA, VI. 97-125 

at last did its kindly office and diffused gentle rest 
through all his limbs. Before day dawned Marus, 
forgetful of his years, made haste to treat the fever 
of the wound with tried remedies, and provided a 
pleasant coolness with eager loyalty. 

Now Serranus, raising his sorrowful eyes to heaven, 
cried out amid groans and tears : '* O Father," if 
thou hast not yet condemned the realm of Quirinus,^ 
and dost not hate the Tarpeian citadel, then look 
down on the desperate plight of Italy and the ruin of 
Rome ; turn at last a merciful eye upon our troubles. 
We lost the Alps ; nor is there any limit to our 
sufferings since then — the Ticinus, the river Po dark 
with our dead, the Trebia made famous by Punic 
triumph, and the lamentable country of the Arnus.'' 
But why speak of all this when, behold ! a far heavier 
weight of calamity is ours ? I saw the level of 
Lake Trasimene raised by the multitude of the 
slain ; I saw Flaminius fall amid the missiles. I swear 
by the dead,*^ whom I worship, that I sought death 
then in striking down the foe — a death befitting the 
famous sufferings of my father ; but cruel fate, which 
denied him a soldier's death, denied it to me also." 

As he still heaped complaint upon complaint, the 
old man strove to comfort him, saying : "In your 
father's fashion, brave youth, let us bear reverses of 
fortune and all the troubles that beset us. Such is 
the law of Heaven : the wheel of our existence, as 
it moves on along the steep track of life, is subject 
to many a slip. Great enough and famous through- 
out the world are the title-deeds of your house ; your 
father, that sacred figure whom no deity excels, 
gained his high renown by defying ill-fortune ; and 
he discarded none of the virtues until the time when 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ante reluctantes liquit quam spiritus artus. 
vix puerile mihi tempus confecerat aetas, 
cum primo malas signabat Regulus aevo. 
access! comes, atque omnes sociavimus annos, 
donee dis Italae visum est extinguere lumen 130 

gentis, in egregio cuius sibi pectore sedem 
ceperat alma Fides mentemque amplexa tenebat. 
ille ensem nobis magnorum hunc instar honorum 
virtutisque ergo dedit et, sordentia fumo 
quae cernis nunc, frena, sed est argenteus ollis 135 
fulgor ; nee cuiquam Marus est post talia dona 
non praelatus eques. verum superavit honores 
omnes hasta meos. cui me libare Lyaei 
quod cernis latices, dignum cognoscere causam. 

" Turbidus arentes lento pede sulcat harenas 140 
Bagrada, non ullo Libycis in finibus amne 
victus limosas extendere latius undas 
et stagnante vado patulos involvere campos. 
hie studio laticum, quorum est baud prodiga tellus, 
per ripas laeti saevis consedimus arvis. 145 

lucus iners iuxta Stygium pallentibus umbris 
servabat sine sole nemus, crassusque per auras 
halitus erumpens taetrum expirabat odorem. 
intus dira domus curvoque immanis in antro 
sub terra specus et tristes sine luce tenebrae. 150 
horror mente redit. monstrum exitiabile et ira 
telluris genitum, cui par vix viderit aetas 
ulla virum, serpens centum porrectus in ulnas 



" The warrior treats his weapon as a sacred thing. 
" This river flows into the Mediterranean not far from 
Carthage and Utica. 

" This monstrous serpent was not invented by Silius: 



PUNICA, VI. 126-153 

his spirit fled from the unwilling body. I had hardly 
outgrown the years of boyhood, when the first beard 
was growing on the face of Regulus. I became his 
comrade, and we spent all our years together, till 
Heaven saw fit to put out the light of the Roman 
people — the man in whose noble breast kindly 
Loyalty had fixed her seat and remained the tenant 
of his heart. He gave me this sword for valour — an 
honour second to none — and the bridle which you see 
now blackened by smoke, though the sheen of the 
silver still remains ; and, when Marus had received 
such gifts, there was no horseman who took preced- 
ence of him. But the chief of all my distinctions was 
my lance. You see me pour wine in its honour ° ; 
and it is worth your while to learn the reason. 

" The turbid stream of Bagrada ^ furrows the sandy 
desert with sluggish course ; and no river in the land 
of Libya can boast that it spreads its muddy waters 
further, or covers the wide plains with greater floods. 
Here, in that savage land, we were glad to encamp 
upon its banks ; for we needed water, which is scarce 
in that country. Hard by stood a grove whose trees 
were ever motionless and sunless, with shade dark as 
Erebus ; and from it burst thick fumes that spread 
a noisome stench through the air. Within it was 
a dreadful dwelling, a vast subterranean hollow 
in a winding cavern, where the dismal darkness 
let in no light. I shudder still to think of it. A 
deadly monster '^ lived there, spawned by Earth in 
her wrath, whose like scarce any generation of men 
can see again ; a serpent, a hundred ells in length, 

Livy described the battle of the army against the reptile, 
and says that its skin, 120 feet long, was sent to Rome. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

letalem ripam et lucos habitabat Avernos. 
ingluviem immensi ventris gravidamque venenis 155 
alvum deprensi satiabant fonte leones, 
aut acta ad fluvium torrenti lampade solis 
armenta et tractae foeda gravitate per auras 
ac tabe afflatus volucres. semesa iacebant 
ossa solo, informi dape quae repletus et asper 160 
vastatis gregibus nigro ructarat in antro. 
isque ubi ferventi concepta incendia pastu 
gurgite mulcebat rapido et spumantibus undis, 
nondum etiam toto demersus corpore in amnem 
iam caput adversae ponebat margine ripae. 165 

imprudens tantae pestis gradiebar, Aquino 
Apenninicola atque Umbro comitatus Avente ; 
scire nemus pacemque loci explorare libebat. 
iamque propinquantum tacitus penetravit in artus 
horror, et occulto riguerunt frigore membra. 170 

intramus tamen et Nymphas numenque precamur 
gurgitis ignoti trepidosque et multa paventes 
arcano gressus audemus credere luco. 
ecce e vestibule primisque e faucibus antri 
Tartareus turbo atque insano saevior Euro 175 

spiritus erumpit, vastoque e gurgite fusa 
tempestas oritur, mixtam stridore procellam 
Cerbereo torquens. pavefacti clade vicissim 
aspicimus : resonare solum, tellusque moveri, 
atque antrum ruere, et visi procedere manes. 180 
quantis armati caelum petiere Gigantes 

" The word has here, and often, the sense of " deadly." 
** The mention of Cerberus implies that a passage to the 

nether world was opened up. 

294 



PUNICA, VI. 154-181 

haunted that fatal bank and the Avernian <» grove. 
He filled his vast maw and poison-breeding belly 
with lions caught when they came for water, or with 
cattle driven to the river when the sun was hot, and 
with birds brought down from the sky by the foul 
stench and corruption of the atmosphere. On the 
floor lay half-eaten bones, which he had belched up 
in the darkness of his cave after filling his maw with 
a hideous meal on the flocks he had laid low. And, 
wlien he was fain to bathe in the foaming waters of 
the running stream and cool the heat engendered 
by his fiery food, before he had plunged his whole 
body in the river, his head was already resting on 
the opposite bank. Unwitting of such a danger I 
went forth ; and with me went Aquinus, a native of 
the Apennines, and Avens, an Umbrian. We sought 
to examine the grove and find out whether the place 
was friendly. But as we drew near, an unspoken 
dread came over us, and a mysterious chill paralysed 
our limbs. Yet we went on and prayed to the 
Nymphs and the deity of the unknown river, and 
then ventured, though anxious and full of fears, 
to trust our feet to the secret grove. Suddenly 
from the threshold and outer entrance of the cave 
there burst forth a hellish whirlwind and a blast 
fiercer than the frantic East-wind ; and a storm 
poured forth from the vast hollow, a hurricane in 
which the baying of Cerberus ^ was heard. Horror- 
struck we gazed at one another. A noise came from 
the ground, the earth was shaken, the cave fell in 
ruins, and the dead seemed to come forth. Huge 
as the snakes that armed the Giants '^ when they 

" The Giants who tried to storm heaven are often repre- 
sented in later Greek art as having serpents for feet. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

anguibus, aut quantus Lernae lassavit in undis 

Amphitryoniaden serpens, qualisque comantes 

auro servavit ramos lunonius anguis : 

tantus disiecta tellure sub astra coruscum 186 

extulit assurgens caput atque in nubila primam 

dispersit saniem et caelum foedavit hiatu. 

difFugimus tenuemque metu conamur anheli 

tollere clamorem frustra ; nam sibila totum 

implebant nemus. ac subita formidine caecus 190 

et facti damnandus Avens (sed fata trahebant) 

antiquae quercus ingenti robore sese 

occulit, infandum si posset fallere monstrum. 

vix egomet credo ; spiris ingentibus altae 

arboris abstraxit molem penitusque revulsam 195 

evertit fundo et radicibus eruit imis. 

turn trepidum ac socios extrema voce cientem 

corripit atque haustu sorbens et faucibus atris 

(vidi respiciens) obscaena condidit alvo. 

infelix fluvio sese et torrentibus undis 200 

crediderat celerique' fuga iam nabat Aquinus. 

hunc medio invasit fluctu ripaeque relatos 

(heu genus infandum leti) depascitur artus. 

" Sic dirum nobis et lamentabile monstrum 

effugisse datur. quantum mens aegra sinebat, 205 

appropero gressum et ductori singula pando. 

ingemuit, casus iuvenum miseratus acerbos. 

utque erat in pugnas et Martem et proelia et hostem 

igneus et magna audendi flagrabat amore, 

ocius arma rapi et spectatum Marte sub omni 210 

" The dragon that guarded the golden apples in the 
Garden of the Hesperides : see note to iii. 282. 

296 



PUNICA, VI. 182-210 

stormed heaven, or as the hydra that wearied Her- 
cules by the waters of Lerna, or as Juno's snake" 
that guarded the boughs with golden foliage — even 
so huge he rose up from the cloven earth and raised 
his glittering head to heaven, and first scattered his 
slaver into the clouds and marred the face of heaven 
with his open jaws. Hither and thither we fled 
and tried to raise a feeble shout, though breathless 
with terror ; but in vain ; for the sound of his hissing 
filled all the grove. Then Avens, blind with sudden 
fear — blameworthy was his act, but Fate had him 
in the toils — hid in the huge trunk of an ancient oak, 
hoping that the horrible monster might not see him. 
I can scarce believe it myself; but the serpent, 
clinging wdth its huge coils, removed the great tree 
bodily, tearing it from the ground, and wrenching it 
up from the roots. Then, as the trembling wretch 
called on his companions with his latest utterance, 
the serpent seized him and swallowed him down with 
a gulp of its black throat — I looked back and saw 
it — and buried him in its beastly maw. Unhappy 
Aquinus had entrusted himself to the running stream 
of the river, and was swimming fast away. But the 
serpent attacked him in midstream, carried his body 
to the bank, and there devoured it — a dreadful form 
of death ! 

" Thus I alone was suffered to escape from the 
monster so terrible and deadly. I ran as fast as 
grief would let me, and told all to the general. He 
groaned aloud, in pity for the cruel fate of his men. 
Then, eager as he ever was for war and battle and 
conflict with the foe, and burning with a passion for 
great achievements, he ordered his men to arm in- 
stantly, and his cavalry, well tried in many a fight, to 

297 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ire iubet campis equitem. ruit ipse, citatum 
quadrupedem planta fodiens, scutataque raptim 
consequitur iusso manus et muralia portat 
ballistas tormenta graves suetamque movere 
excelsas turres immensae cuspidis hastam. 215 

iamque ubi feralem strepitu circumtonat aulam 
cornea gramineum persultans ungula campum, 
percitus hinnitu serpens evolvitur antro 
et Stygios aestus fumanti exsibilat ore. 
terribilis gemino de lumine fulgurat ignis ; 220 

at nemus arrectae et procera cacumina saltus 
exsuperant cristae ; trifido vibrata per auras 
lingua micat motu atque assultans aethera lambit. 
ut vero strepuere tubae, conterritus alte 
immensum attollit corpus tergoque residens 225 

cetera sinuatis glomerat sub pectore gyris. 
dira dehinc in bella ruit rapideque resolvens 
contortos orbes derecto corpore totam 
extendit molem subitoque propinquus in ora 
lato distantum spatio venit ; omnis anhelat 230 

attonitus serpentis equus, frenoque teneri 
impatiens crebros expirat naribus ignes. 
arduus ille super tumidis cervicibus altum 
nutat utroque caput ; trepidos inde incitus ira 
nunc sublime rapit, nunc vasto pondere gaudet 235 
elisisse premens. tunc fractis ossibus atram 
absorbet saniem et, tabo manante per ora, 
mutat hians hostem semesaque membra relinquit. 
cedebant iam signa retro, victorque catervas 
longius avectas afflatus peste premebat, 240 

cum ductor, propere revocatam in proelia turmam 
vocibus impellens : * serpentine Itala pubes 

** This engine was the f alar ica, for which see note to i. 351. j 



PUNICA, VI. 211-242 

take the field. He galloped forward himself, srpurring 
his flying steed ; and at his command there followed 
a body of shieldsmen, bringing the heavy catapults 
used in sieges and the weapon « whose huge point 
can batter down high towers. And now, when the 
horses speeding over the grassy plain surrounded the 
fatal spot with the thunder of their hoofs, the serpent, 
aroused by the neighing, glided forth from his cave 
and hissed forth a hellish blast from his reeking jaws. 
Both his eyes flashed horrible fire ; his erected crest 
towered over the tall tree-tops ; and his three-forked 
tongue darted and flickered through the air and rose 
up till it licked the sky. But, when the trumpets 
sounded, he was startled and reared aloft his huge 
bulk ; then, couching on his rear, he gathered the 
rest of his body beneath his front in circling coils. 
Then he began a fearsome conflict, quickly un- 
winding his coils and stretching his body out to its full 
length, till he reached in a moment the faces of men 
far away. All the horses snorted, in their terror of 
the serpent, refusing to obey the rein and breathing 
frequent fire from their nostrils. The monster, tower- 
ing above the frightened men with swollen neck, 
waved his high head to right and left and, in his rage, 
now hoisted them on high, and now delighted in 
crushing them beneath his huge weight. Then he 
breaks their bones and gulps down the black gore ; 
with his open jaws wet with blood, he leaves the 
half-eaten body and seeks a fresh foe. The soldiers 
fell back, and the victorious serpent attacked the 
squadrons from a distance with his pestilential breath. 
But then Regulus speedily recalled the troops to 
battle and encouraged them thus : ' Shall we, the 
men of Italy, retreat before a serpent, and admit 

299 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

terga damus Libycisque parem non esse fatemur 
anguibus Ausoniam ? si debellavit inertes 
halitus, ac viso mens aegra effluxit hiatu, 245 

ibo alacer solusque manus componere monstro 
sufRciam.' clamans haec atque interritus hastam 
fulmineo volucrem torquet per inane lacerto. 
venit in adversam non vano turbine frontem 
cuspis et, baud paulum vires adiuta mentis 250 

contra ardore ferae, capiti tremebunda resedit. 
clamor ad astra datur, vocesque repente profusae 
aetherias adiere domos. furit ilicet ira 
terrigena, impatiens dare terga novusque dolori 
et chalybem longo turn primum passus in aevo. 255 
nee frustra rapidi, stimulante dolore, fuisset 
impetus, ablato ni Regulus arte regendi 
instantem elusisset equo rursusque secutum 
cornipedis gyros flexi curvamine tergi 
detortis laeva celer efFugisset habenis. 260 

" At non spectator Marus inter talia segni 
torpebat dextra. mea tanto in corpore monstri 
hasta secunda fuit. iam iamque extrema trisulca 
lambebat lingua fessi certamine terga 
quadrupedis ; torsi telum atque urgentia velox 265 
in memet saevi serpentis proelia verto. 
hinc imitata cohors certatim spicula dextris 
congerit alternasque ferum diducit in iras, 
donee murali balista coercuit ictu. 
turn fractus demum vires, non iam amplius aegra 270 
consuetum ad nisus spina praestante rigorem 
et solitum in nubes toUi caput, acrius instant, 

300 



PUNICA, VI. 243-272 

that Rome is no match for the snakes of Libya ? If 
his breath has conquered your feeble strength, and 
your courage has oozed away at sight of his open 
mouth, then I will go boldly forward and cope with 
the monster single-handed.' Thus he shouted and 
undismayed hurled his flying spear through the air 
with lightning speed. The weapon rushed on and 
did its work : it struck the serpent fairly on the 
head, gaining not a little force from the fierceness of 
the creature's charge, and stuck there quivering. A 
shout of triumph rose, and the sudden noise of it 
went up to Heaven. At once the earth-born monster 
went mad with rage : he spurned defeat and was a 
stranger to pain ; for never before in his long life 
had he felt the steel. Nor would the swift charge, 
prompted by his pain, have failed, had not Regulus, 
skilled horseman that he was, eluded the onset with 
wheeling steed, and then, when the serpent, with a 
bend of its supple back, once again followed the 
turning horse, pulled the rein with his left hand and 
soon got out of reach. 

" But Marus did not merely look on at such a scene 
and take no part : my spear was the second to transfix 
the great body of the monster. His three-forked 
tongue was now licking the rump of the general's 
tired horse ; I threw my weapon and quickly turned 
on myself the serpent's fierce assault. The men 
followed my example and hurled their darts together 
with a will, making the creature shift its rage from 
one foe to another ; and at length he was restrained by 
a blow from a catapult that would level a wall. Then 
at last his strength was broken ; for his injured 
spine could no longer stand up stiff for attack, and 
the head had no strength to rear up to the sky. We 

VOL. I L 301 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

iamque alvo penitus demersa falarica sedit, 
et geminum volucres lumen rapuere sagittae. 
iam patulis vasto sub vulnere faucibus ater 275 

tabificam expirat saniem specus ; ultima iamque 
ingestis cauda et iaculis et pondere conti 
haeret humi ; lassoque tamen minitatur hiatu ; 
donee tormentis stridens magnoque fragore 
discussit trabs acta caput, longoque resolvens 280 
aggere se ripae tandem exhalavit in auras 
liventem nebulam fugientis ab ore veneni. 
erupit tristi fluvio mugitus et imis 
murmura fusa vadis ; subitoque et lucus et antrum 
et resonae silvis ulularunt flebile ripae. 285 

heu quantis luimus mox tristia proelia damnis ! 
quantaque supplicia et quales exhausimus iras ! 
nee tacuere pii vates famulumque sororum 
Naiadum, tepida quas Bagrada nutrit in unda, 
nos violasse manu seris monuere periclis. — 290 

haec tunc hasta decus nobis pretiumque secundi 
vulneris a vestro, Serrane, tributa parente, 
princeps quae sacro bibit e serpente cruorem." 

lamdudum vultus lacrimis atque ora rigabat 
Serranus medioque viri sermone profatur : 295 

" huic si vita duci nostrum durasset in aevum, 
non Trebia infaustas superasset sanguine ripas, 
nee, Thrasymenne, tuus premeret tot nomina gurges." 

Turn senior : " magnas," inquit, " de sanguine 
poenas 



" This refers to the defeat and capture of Regulus, which 
soon followed. 

* The spear which Marus showed to Serranus was not the 
spear which he himself threw : it had belonged to Regulus 
and was given by him to Marus as a reward for valour. 
302 



PUNICA, VI. 273-299 

attacked more fiercely ; and soon a huge missile was 
lodged deep in the monster's belly, and the sight of 
both his eyes was destroyed by flying arrows. Now 
the dark pit of the gaping wound sent forth a 
poisonous slaver from the open jaws ; and now the 
end of the tail was held fast to the ground by showers 
of darts and heavy poles ; and still he threatened 
feebly with open mouth. At last a beam, discharged 
from an engine with a loud hissing sound, shattered 
his head ; and the body lay at last relaxed far along 
the raised bank, and discharged into the air a dark 
vapour of poison that escaped from its mouth. Then 
a cry of sorrow burst from the river, and the sound 
spread through the depths ; and suddenly both grove 
and cave sent forth a noise of wailing, and the banks 
replied to the trees. Alas, how great were our losses, 
and how dearly we paid in the end for our luckless 
battle ! " How much we suffered, and what a cup of 
retribution we had to drink ! Our soothsayers were 
not silent : they warned us that we had laid profane 
hands on the servant of the Naiads, the sisters who 
dwell in the warm stream of the Bagrada, and that 
we should suffer for it later. — Then it was, Serranus, 
that your father gave me this spear as my reward 
and prize for dealing the second wound ; this was 
the first weapon to draw blood from the sacred 
serpent." ^ 

The eyes and cheeks of Serranus had long been wet 
with tears, and now he interrupted Marus and said : 
** Had Regulus lived on to our time, the Trebia would 
never have overflowed its fatal banks with blood, nor 
would the waters of Lake Trasimene hide so many 
famous dead." 

The older man replied ; ** The Carthaginians paid 

303 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

percepit Tyrio et praesumpta piacula mortis. 300 

nam, defecta viris et opes attrita, supinas 
Africa tendebat palmas, cum sidere diro 
misit Agenoreis ductorem animosa Therapne. 
nulla viro species decorisque et frontis egenum 
corpus ; in exiguis vigor, admirabile, membris 305 
vividus, et nisu magnos qui vinceret artus. 
iam Martem regere atque astus adiungere ferro 
et duris facilem per inhospita ducere vitam 
haud isti, quern nunc penes est sollertia belli, 
ccderet Hannibali. vellem hunc, o tristia nobis 310 
Taygeta, hunc unum non durassetis opacis 
Eurotae ripis ! vidissem moenia flammis 
Phoenissae ruere, aut certe non horrida fata 
flevissem ducis et, nulla quos morte nee igni 
exutos servans portabo in Tartara, luctus. 315 

consertae campis acies, multusque per arva 
fervebat Mavors ; nee mens erat ulla sine ira. 
hie inter medios memorandis Regulus ausis 
laxabat ferro campum inque pericla ruebat 
nee repetenda dabat letali vulnera dextra. 320 

sic ubi nigrantem torquens stridentibus austris 
portat turbo globum piceaque e nube ruinam 
pendentem terris pariter pontoque minatur, 
omnis et agricola et nemoroso vertice pastor 
et pelago trepidat subductis navita velis. 325 

at fraudem nectens, socios ubi concava saxa 
claudebant, vertit subito certamina Graius 

" Xanthippus : see note to ii. 305. " Therapne " is here 
and often used as equivalent to " Sparta " : it was close to 
that city: it is called "brave" because of the military 
training which Spartans underwent. Taygetus and Eurotas 
mentioned below are the mountain and river of Sparta. 

* Carthage. 
304. 



PUNICA, VI. 300-327 

dearly with their blood, and he, while he yet lived, 
took vengeance for his death. For Africa, with her 
armies thinned and her treasure exhausted, was holding 
out her hands in supplication, when brave Therapne 
in an evil hour sent a leader " to the Carthaginians. 
His aspect was mean : no beauty or noble brow was 
his ; but with his low stature there went a tireless 
activity to marvel at — an activity whose effort could 
conquer giants. In the art of war, in combining the 
sword with stratagem, in enduring hardship and con- 
triving to exist in an unfriendly country, he was not 
inferior to yonder Hannibal, who is now supreme for 
skill in war. Glad had I been if Taygeta, so cruel 
to us, had made an exception of Xanthippus, and 
not hardened him on the shady banks of the Eurotas. 
Then I should have seen the walls of Dido ^ over- 
thrown in flames ; or at least I should not have 
mourned the dreadful doom of Regulus — a sorrow 
which no death or funeral fire can ever take from me, 
but I shall keep it and carry it with me to Tartarus. 
The armies met in the field ; war raged fiercely 
throughout the land ; and every heart was full of 
martial ardour. Here, in the midst of his men, 
Regulus did memorable deeds, opening a path in the 
field with his sword, dashing into danger, and dealing 
out with his deadly arm strokes that needed not to 
be struck again. So, when a hurricane sweeps along 
a whirling mass of dark cloud with shrieking south- 
winds, and the pitch-dark heaven threatens earth and 
sea alike with destruction from above, all tillers of 
the soil and herdsmen on their wooded heights are 
terrified, and every seaman on the deep furls his sails. 
But the Greek general devised a trick : hiding a force 
behind rocky hollows, he suddenly ceased lighting 

305 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et dat terga celer ficta formidine ductor. 

baud secus ac stabulis procurans otia pastor 

In foveam parco tectam velamine frondis 330 

ducit nocte lupos positae balatibus agnae. 

abripuit traxitque virum fax mentis honestae 

gloria et incerti fallax fiducia Martis. 

non socios comitumve manus, non arma sequentum 

respicere, insano pugnae tendebat amore 335 

iam solus, nubes subito cum densa Laconum 

saxosis latebris intento ad proelia circum 

funditur, et pone insurgit vis saeva virorum. 

o diram Latio lucem fastisque notandam ! 

dedecus o, Gradive, tuum ! tibi dextera et urbi 340 

nata tuae tristi damnatur sorte catenae. 

baud umquam absistam gemitu. te, Regule, vidit 

Sidonius career ! tuque buic sat magna triumpbo 

visa es, Cartbago, superis ! quae poena sequetur 

digna satis tali pollutos Marte Laconas ? 345 

" At nova Elissaei iurato foedera patres 
consultant mandare duci pacisque sequestrem 
mittere, poscentes vinctam inter proelia pubem 
captivamque manum ductore rependere nostro. 
nee mora, iam stabat primis in litoris undis 350 

navali propulsa ratis, iam nautica pubes 
aut silvis stringunt remos, aut abiete secta 
transtra novant ; bis intortas aptare rudentes, 
bis studium erecto componere carbasa malo. 
unca locant prora curvati pondera ferri. 355 

ante omnes doctus pelagi rectorque carinae 

" Rome. 
306 



PUNICA, VI. 328-356 

and beat a hasty retreat in pretended fear. Even so 
a shepherd, seeking safety for his flock, lures the 
wolves at night by the bleating of a tethered lamb 
into the pitfall masked by a slender covering of 
leafage. Regulus was caught and carried away 
by the desire of fame that fires the noble heart, 
and by mistaken trust in the fickle god of war. 
To no companions or helpers or troops did he look 
back but was pressing on alone in his wild desire 
for battle, when suddenly a cloud of Spartans issued 
from their ambush in the rocks and surrounded the 
eager warrior, while behind him rose up a great 
army. O fearful day for Rome, that she must mark 
with black on her calendar ! What disgrace to Mars, 
that a warrior born to serve the god and the god's 
city " was doomed to the sad lot of a captive ! Never 
shall I cease to mourn over it. Did Carthage behold 
Regulus a prisoner ? Did Carthage seem to Heaven 
to deserve so great a triumph ? What fitting punish- 
ment shall attend the Spartans for their foul manner 
of warfare ? 

*' But now the senate of Carthage resolved to take 
an oath of Regulus and send him to Rome as mediator 
with new conditions of peace ; they sought to ex- 
change Regulus for their own soldiers who had been 
taken prisoners in the course of the war. With no 
delay, a ship was launched from the arsenal and rode 
already on the waters close to the shore ; and already 
the crew were shaping oars in the woods or felling 
pines to make new thwarts ; some were busily en- 
gaged in fitting the twisted cordage, and others in 
fixing the canvas upon the high mast. They laid 
upon the prow the heavy iron anchor with its curved 
flukes. Chief of all Cothon, a skilful seaman and 

307 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

puppim aptat clavumque Cothon. micat aereus alta 
fulgor aqua trifidi splendentis in aequore rostri. 
tela simul variamque ferunt contra aspera ponti 
rerum ad tempus opem. mediae stat margine puppis, 
qui voce alternos nautarum temperet ictus 361 

et remis dictet sonitum pariterque relatis 
ad numerum plaudat resonantia caerula tonsis. 

" Postquam confectum nautis opus,horaque cursus, 
atque armata ratis ventique dedere profundum, 365 
omnis turba ruit, matres puerique senesque. 
per medios coetus trahit atque inimica per ora 
spectandum Fortuna ducem. fert lumina contra 
pacatus frontem, qualis cum litora primum 
attigit appulsa rector Sidonia classe. 370 

accessi comes, haud ipso renuente, ratique 
impositus maestus socium me casibus addo. 
illuviem atque inopes mensas durumque cubile 
et certare malis urgentibus hoste putabat 
devicto mains ; nee tam fugisse cavendo 375 

adversa egregium, quam perdomuisse ferendo. 
spes tamen una mihi (quamquam bene cognita et 

olim 
atrox ilia fides) urbem murosque domumque 
tangere si miseris licuisset, corda moveri 
posse viri et vestro certe mitescere fletu. 380 

claudebam sub corde metus lacrimasque putabam 
esse viro et nostrae similem inter tristia mentem. 
cum tandem patriae Tiberino allabimur amni, 

308 



PUNICA, VI. 357-383 

steersman of the ship, saw to the vessel and its 
rudder ; the shining brass of the triple beak was 
reflected on the deep and glittered over the sea. 
Weapons also were brought on board, and much else 
to help them against the dangers of the sea in time 
of need. Amidships by the gunwale the coxswain 
stood, to regulate the rowers' successive strokes, to 
set their cadence to the oars, and, as the blades were 
drawn back together, to make the water echo to the 
rhythm. 

" When the sailors had done their work, and the 
time for starting came, and the ship was fitted out, 
and the wind made sailing possible, then all the people 
hastened to the shore — women and boys and old men. 
Through the midst of the crowd and before their un- 
friendly eyes Regulus was brought along by Fortune, 
for them to look at. His calm brow met their gaze — 
calm as when he first brought the fleet under his 
command to the Carthaginian shore. I went with 
him, and he made no objection ; sadly I went on 
board, to share his ill-fortune. To contend with / 
pressing evils — squalid attire and meagre fare and 
a hard bed — this he thought more glorious than to 
win a battle ; and he held it a nobler thing to conquer 
adversity by endurance than to avoid it by pre- 
caution. One hope I still cherished — although I knew 
well, and had long known, the inflexible conscience 
of the man — that, if we wretches were permitted to 
reach the walls of Rome and our homes, his resolu- 
tion might give way and be melted at least by the 
tears of his wife and children. I hid my fears in 
my breast, and beheved that Regulus could weep 
and feel misfortune like other men. When at last 
our ship ghded into the Tiber, our native river, I 
VOL. I l2 309 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

servabam vultus ducis ac prodentia sensum 

lumina et obtutu perstabam intentus eodem. 385 

si qua fides, unum, puer, inter mille labores, 

unum etiam in patria saevaque in Agenoris urbe 

atque unum vidi poenae quoque tempore vultum. 

obvia captivo cunetis simul urbibus ibat 

Ausonia, et, campum turba vincente, propinqui 390 

implentur coUes ; strepit altis Albula ripis. 

ipsi Poenorum proceres immitia corda 

ad patrios certant cultus revocare, logaeque 

addebatur honos. stetit, illacrimante senatu 

et matrum turba iuvenumque dolore profuso, 395 

inter tot gemitus immobilis ; aggere consul 

tendebat dextram et patria vestigia primus 

ponentem terra occursu celebrabat amico. 

collegit gressum ; monitusque recedere consul 

nee summum violare decus ; cingente superba 400 

Poenorum turba captivoque agmine saeptus 

ibat et invidiam caelo divisque ferebat. 

" Ecce trahens geminum natorum Marcia pignus, 
infelix nimia magni virtute mariti, 
squalentem crinem et tristis lacerabat amictus. 405 
(agnoscisne diem ? an teneris non haesit in annis ?) 
atque ea, postquam habitu iuxta et velamine Poeno 
deformem aspexit, fusis ululatibus aegra 
labitur, et gelidos mortis color occupat artus. 
si qua deis pietas, tales, Carthago, videre 410 

dent tibi Sidonias matres. me voce quieta 

<* Carthage : Agenor, father of Cadmus, was a king of the 
Phoenicians. ^ The ancient name of the Tiber. 

" The toga, the white woollen gown characteristic of the 
Roman citizen. 

** Romans who were to be exchanged for Carthaginians 
if the embassy from Carthage succeeded in their object. 
310 



PUNICA, VI. 384-411 

watched his face and the eyes that reveal the 
mind, and never did I take my gaze off him. If you 
can believe me, young man, his expression was un- 
changed amid a thousand dangers, unchanged in 
Rome and in the cruel city of Agenor,** and unchanged 
even when he was tortured. From all the cities of 
Italy men came to meet the prisoner ; and, when 
the plain could not contain the crowd, the neigh- 
bouring hills were thronged, and the high banks 
of the Albula ^ resounded. Even the Carthaginian 
senators pleaded with that stern heart to resume his 
native dress, and the dignity of the gown '^ was offered 
him. He stood there unmoved, while the senators 
shed tears, and the crowd of matrons and the young 
men wept for sorrow. On the river bank the consul 
first held out his hand, in friendly welcome to the 
exile as he set foot upon his native soil. Regulus 
stepped back ; he bade the consul withdraw and not 
dishonour his high office ; only the haughty Cartha- 
ginians and the company of prisoners ^ were round 
him when he moved on, causing men to reproach 
Heaven and the gods. 

" Now Marcia came up, leading two boys, the 
pledges of their love — Marcia made unhappy by the 
too lofty virtue of her great husband ; in her sorrow 
she tore her disordered hair and rent her garments. 
(Do you remember that day, Serranus, or has it 
slipped from your boyish memory ?) When she saw 
him near, changed in mien and wearing the unsightly 
dress of Carthage, with a loud cry she fell fainting, 
and the hue of death covered her cold hmbs. (If 
the gods have any pity, let them make Carthage 
witness mothers suffering like Marcia.) Regulus 

311 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

aflPatus, iubet et vestros et coniugis una 
arcere amplexus ; patet impenetrabilis ille 
luctibus et numquam summissus colla dolori." 

Hie alto iuvenis gemitu laerimisque eoortis : 415 
" magne parens," inquit, " quo maius numine nobis 
Tarpeia nee in aree sedet, si iura querelis 
sunt eoncessa piis, cur hoc matrique mihique 
solamen, vel cur decus hoc, o dure, negasti, 
tangere saeratos vultus atque oseula ab ore 420 

libavisse tuo ? dextram mihi prendere dextra 
non licitum ? leviora forent haec vulnera quantum, 
si ferre ad manes infixos mente daretur 
amplexus, venerande, tuos. sed vana recordor 
ni. Mare, — nam primo tunc haerebamus in aevo — 
humana maior species erat ; horrida cano 426 

vertice descendens ingentia colla tegebat 
caesaries, frontique coma squalente sedebat 
terribilis decor atque animi venerabile pondus. 
nil posthac oculis simile incidit." excipit inde 430 
iam Marus atque, inhibens convellere vulnera questu : 
" quid, cum praeteritis invisa penatibus," inquit, 
" hospitia et sedes Poenorum intra vit acerbas ? 
affixi clipei currusque et spicula nota 
aedibus in parvis, magni monumenta triumphi, 435 
pulsabant oculos, coniuxque in limine primo 
clamabat : * quo fers gressus ? non Punicus hie est, 
Regule, quem fugias, career, vestigia nostri 
casta tori domus et patrium sine crimine servat 
inviolata larem. semel hie iterumque (quid, oro, 440 

312 



PUNICA, VI. 412-440 

spoke to me in a calm voice and bade me keep from 
him the embraces of you two, his children, and of 
his wife ; he remained obdurate against grief and 
never bowed his neck to pain." 

Then Serranus spoke with a deep groan and start- 
ing tears : " Noble father," he said, " not less divine 
to me than even the deity who dwells on the Tarpeian 
rock, if love has a right to complain, why did you so 
sternly deny my mother and me this consolation 
and this glory — to touch your sacred face and take 
kisses from your lips ? Was I forbidden to clasp 
your hand in mine ? How much lighter my present 
wounds would be, had I been allowed to carry 
to the grave the undying memory of your embrace, 

worshipful father ! But, Marus, unless memory 
deceives me — and I was but a child then — his stature 
was more than human ; the unkempt hair fell down 
from his white head and hid the great shoulders ; 
and on his brow with its disordered locks sat an awful 
majesty and reverend dignity. None like him have 

1 seen since." But here Marus took up the tale and 
prevented him from making his wounds worse by com- 
plaining : " And what," he cried, " when he passed 
by his own house and sought the hateful hospitality 
of the Carthaginians and their unfriendly lodging ? 
Shields and chariots and javelins were fastened at his 
doors — famous trophies of a great victory adorning 
a humble dwelling ; these struck on his sight, and 
his wife was crying out from the threshold : ' Whither 
are you going, Regulus ? This is no Carthaginian 
prison, for you to shun. This house preserves the 
prints on our chaste marriage-bed, and our hereditary 
household gods are stained by no guilt. In it once 
and again — what, I ask, have I done to dishonour the 

313 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

pollutum est nobis ?) prolem, gratante senatu 
et patria, sum enixa tibi. tua, respice, sedes 
haec est, unde ingens humeris fulgentibus ostro 
vidisti Latios consul procedere fasces ; 
unde ire in Martem, quo capta referre solebas 445 
et victor mecum suspendere postibus arma. 
non ego complexus et sanctae foedera taedae 
coniugiumve peto : patrios damnare penates 
absiste ac natis fas due concedere noctem.' 

" Hos inter fletus iunctus vestigia Poenis 450 

limine se clusit Tyrio questusque reliquit. 
vixdum clara dies summa lustrabat in Oeta 
Herculei monumenta rogi, cum consul adire 
accirique iubet Libyas. tum limina templi 
vidimus intrantem. quae consultata senatus, 455 
quasve viri voces extremum curia maerens 
audierit, placido nobis ipse edidit ore. 
intulit ut gressus, certatim voce manuque 
ad solitam sedem et vestigia nota vocabant. 
abnuit antiquumque loci aspernatur honorem. 460 
at circumfusi non secius undique dextram 
prensare ac, patriae ductorem nomine tanto 
redderet, orabant ; captiva posse redemptum 
pensari turba, ac Tyrias tum iustius arces 
arsuras dextra, fuerit quae vincta catenis. 465 

Tum palmas simul attollens ac lumina caelo : 
' iustitiae rectique dator, qui cuncta gubernas, 
nee levior mihi diva Fides Sarranaque luno, 

" These would be the quarters provided by the State for the 
accommodation of the Carthaginian envoys. 

* An elaborate way of saying that the sun was rising : for 
Oeta see note to iii. 43. 

" The Senate-house is often called a temple ; and also meet- 
ings of the Senate were often held in the temple of some god. 

314 



PUNICA, VI. 441-468 

house ? — I bore you a child, and the Senate and 
people wished us joy. Look back ! this is your own 
dwelling, from which, in all a consul's state, your 
shoulders gleaming with purple, you saw the Roman 
lictors march forth. From it you went to the wars ; 
and to it you often brought back the victor's spoils, 
and we hung them up together on the threshold. No 
embraces do I ask, no union that the hallowed torch 
of wedlock brings ; but do not persist in shunning 
the house of your fathers, and count it no crime to 
pass one night here for the sake of your sons.' 

' While thus she lamented, he passed along with the 
Carthaginians and shut himself up in their lodging," 
deaf to her appeal. Scarce was the daylight shining 
on the famous pyre of Hercules upon Oeta's height,* 
when the consul ordered the Carthaginians to be 
summoned. Then we saw Regulus entering the 
temple.'' How the Senate debated, and how Regulus 
at last addressed the sorrowing house — this he re- 
ported to me himself with calm utterance. When he 
entered, all eagerly called on him with voice and 
gesture to take his wonted seat and former place. 
He refused and declined the seat of honour that once 
was his. None the less they gathered round, all 
seeking to grasp his hand and begging him not to 
deprive his country of so great a general ; he, they 
said, might be exchanged for the crowd of Cartha- 
ginian prisoners ; and then the hand which once 
wore fetters at Carthage would more fitly set fire to 
the Carthaginian citadel. 

' ' Then he lifted hand and eye together to heaven : ' O 
Ruler of the universe, source of justice and truth ; and 
O Loyalty, no less divine to me, and Juno of Tyre, ye 

315 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

qiios reditus testes iurata mente vocavi, 

si mihi fas me digna loqui Latiosque tueri 470 

voce focos, ibo ad Tyrios non segnior,' inquit, 

* stante fide reditus et salvo foedere poenae. 

sic nobis rerum exitio desistite honorem 

tendere. tot bellis totque annis fregimus aevum ; 

nunc etiam vinclis et longo carcere torpent 475 

captivo in senio vires, fuit ille nee umquam, 

dum fuit, a duro cessavit munere Martis 

Regulus : exsangui spectatis corpore nomen. 

at non Carthago, fraudum domus, inscia quantum 

e nobis restet, iuvenes parat, aspera ferro 480 

pectora, captivos nostra pensare senecta. 

ite dolos contra, gensque astu fallere laeta 

discat, me capto quantum tibi, Roma, supersit. 

nee vero placeat, nisi quae de more parentum 

pax erit. exposcunt Libyes nobisque dedere 485 

haec referenda, pari libeat si pendere bellum 

foedere et ex aequo geminas conscribere leges. 

sed mihi sit Stygios ante intravisse penates, 

talia quam videam ferientes pacta Latinos.* 

" Haec fatus Tyriae sese iam reddidit irae, 490 
nee monitus spernente graves fidosque senatu, 
Poenorum dimissa cohors, quae maesta repulsa 
ac minitans capto patrias properabat ad oras. 
prosequitur vulgus patres, ac planctibus ingens 

" The imprisonment of Regulus at Carthage lasted eight 
years, from 258 to 250 b.c. : Silius says little about this long 
interval. 

** The Carthaginians asked for the restitution of the status 
quo before the war ; and this would have involved the 

316 



PUNICA, VI. 469-494 

gods whom I invoked to witness my oath that I would 
return, if I am permitted to speak words that befit 
me, and by my voice to protect the hearths of Rome, 
not unwiUingly shall I go to Carthage, keeping my 
promise to return and enduring the prescribed penalty. 
Therefore cease to honour me and thus ruin the state. 
So many years, so many wars, have broken down my 
strength ; and also long captivity <* in fetters has 
sapped the energy of an old man and a prisoner. 
Regulus is not the man he was once, when he never 
rested from the hard task of war ; what you see now 
is a mere name, a bloodless body. But Carthage, 
that home of treachery, know^s well what a wreck I 
am, and is scheming to get in exchange for my worn- 
out body our prisoners who are young and eager for 
battle. Foil their knavish tricks, and teach a nation 
that delights in deceit how much , though I be a prisoner, 
is still left to Rome. Accept no peace that is not 
concluded in the fashion of our fathers. The Cartha- 
ginians demand — and this is the message they gave 
me to carry — that you should weigh this war in equal 
scales, and frame conditions of peace that shall favour 
neither nation.^ But I would rather go down to the 
house of Hades than see the Romans strike so base a 
bargain.' 

" Thus he spoke and at once gave himself up 
again to the anger of Carthage. Nor did the Senate 
reject a warning so serious and so honest, but sent off 
the Carthaginian envoys, who made haste for home, 
vexed by their failure and threatening their prisoner. 
The Roman populace accompanied the senators, 
beating their breasts and mourning, till the vast Field 

surrender of Sicily, and the recognition of Carthaginian 
independence. 

317 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

personal et luctu campus : revocare libebat 495 

interdum et iusto raptum retinere dolore. 

" At trepida et subito ceu stans in funere coniux 
ut vidit puppi properantem intrare, tremendum 
vociferans, celerem gressum referebat ad undas : 
' tollite me, Libyes, comitem poenaeque necisque. 
hoc unum, coniux, uteri per pignora nostri 501 

unum oro : liceat tecum quoscumque ferentem 
terrarum pelagique pati caelique labores. 
non ego Amyclaeum ductorem in proelia misi, 
nee nostris tua sunt circumdata colla catenis. 605 
cur usque ad Poenos miseram fugis ? accipe mecum 
banc prolem. forsan duras Carthaginis iras 
flectemus lacrimis, aut, si praecluserit aures 
urbs inimica suas, eadem tunc hora manebit 
teque tuosque simul ; vel, si stat rumpere vitam, 510 
in patria moriamur. adest comes ultima fati.' 

" Has inter voces vinclis resoluta moveri 
paulatim et ripa coepit decedere puppis. 
tum vero infeUx, mentem furiata dolore, 
exclamat, fessas tendens ad litora palmas : 515 

* en, qui se iactat Libyae populisque nefandis 
atque hosti servare fidem ! data foedera nobis 
ac promissa fides thalamis ubi, perfide, nunc est ? ' 
ultima vox duras haec tunc penetravit ad aures ; 
cetera percussi vetuerunt noscere remi. 520 

" Tum fluvio raptim ad pelagi devolvimur oras 
ac legimus pontum pinuque immane cavata 
aequor et immensas curva trabe findimus undas. 

" The chief pubhc park in Rome, used for many purposes : 
it stretched along the banks of the Tiber. 

^ Xanthippus : see note to 11. 304 foil. Amyclae was a 
town in Laconia, on the Eurotas. 
318 



PUNICA, VI. 495-523 

of Mars" was filled with the sound. They were 
eager at times to call him back and to rescue him by 
force in their righteous indignation. 

" But when Marcia saw him hastening on board, she 
was bewildered and uttered a terrible cry, as if she 
stood suddenly by his death-bed. Hurrying to the 
shore, * Take me, ye Carthaginians,' she cried, * to 
share his punishment and his death. Husband, I ask 
but one thing in the name of the children I bore you : 
suffer me to endure along with you whatever earth 
and sea and sky can inflict. It was not I who sent the 
Spartan leader ^ forth to battle ; nor mine were the 
chains that were riveted round your neck. Why do 
you go all the way to Carthage, to escape unhappy 
me ? Take me and these children with you. Per- 
haps our tears will melt the hard hearts of the Cartha- 
ginians ; or, if that hostile city turns a deaf ear, then 
the same hour will await you and yours together. Or,if 
you are resolved to end your life, let us die in our own 
country. Here is one to share your fate to the end.' 

** While she spoke, the ship was cast loose from her 
moorings and began to move slowly from the shore. 
Then indeed the unhappy wife, frantic with grief, 
stretched forth her weary hands over the bank with 
a loud cry : ' See him ! He boasts of keeping faith 
with the enemy and the abominable people of Libya. 
But where is now the compact made with me, and the 
troth you plighted at our marriage, unfaithful hus- 
band ? ' These were the last words that reached the 
inflexible ear of Regulus ; the rest was drowned by 
the plashing of the oars. 

** Then we went swiftly down the river to the sea- 
shore, and sailed over the deep, cleaving the vast 
expanse of water and the great waves with our hollow 

S19 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ludibrium necis horrescens, vis aspera ponti 
obrueret, scopulisque ratem furor improbus Euri 525 
frangeret, optabam ; letum id commune fuisset. 
sed nos ad poenam moderato flamine lenes 
vexerunt Zephyri Tyrioque dedere furori. 

" Infelix vidi patriamque remissus in urbem 
narrator poenae dura mercede reverti. 530 

nee tibi nunc ritus imitantem irasque ferarum 
Pygmalioneamttentarem expromere gentem, 
si maius quicquam toto vidisset in orbe 
gens hominum, quam quod vestri veneranda parentis 
edidit exemplum virtus ; pudet addere questus 535 
suppliciis, quae spectavi placido ore ferentem. 
tu quoque, care puer, dignum te sanguine tanto 
fingere ne cessa atque orientes comprime fletus. 
praefixo paribus ligno mucronibus omnes 
armantur laterum crates, densumque per artem 540 
texitur erecti stantisque ex ordine ferri 
infelix stimulus, somnisque hac fraude negatis 
quocumque inflexum producto tempore torpor 
inclinavit iners, fodiunt ad viscera corpus, 
absiste, o iuvenis, lacrimis : patientia cunctos 545 
haec superat currus. longo revirescet in aevo 
gloria, dum caeli sedem terrasque tenebit 
casta Fides ; dum virtutis venerabile nomen, 
vivet ; eritque dies, tua quo, dux indite, fata 
audire horrebunt a te calcata minores." 550 

haec Marus et maesta refovebat vulnera cura. 



" For Pygmalion see note to i. 21. 

^ The digression which began on p. 287 ends here. Silius 
was determined to include the history of Regulus in his poem, 
though it was no part of the Second Punic War. But it is 
not easy to see why Serranus should not have heard all these 
320 



PUNICA, VI. 524-551 

ship. Dreading a shameful death, I prayed that the 
violence of the sea might sink our vessel, or that the 
wild fury of the wind might dash her upon the rocks ; 
then we should have died together. But the mild 
breath of gentle zephyrs carried us on to the torture, 
and gave us over to the rage of Carthage. 

" I, alas, witnessed his punishment, and was sent 
back to Rome to tell the tale ; and dearly did I pay for 
my release. Nor would I now essay to tell you how 
the people of Carthage" behaved with the cruelty of 
wild beasts, if mankind had ever seen in any part 
of the world a nobler example than was set by the 
splendid courage of your father. I am ashamed to 
complain of tortures which I saw him endure with 
cheerfulness. You too, dear youth, must still think 
yourself worthy of such a glorious descent, and check 
those starting tears. A frame all round him was 
faced with planking studded with points of equal 
length, and there was artfully compacted a painful 
system of puncture consisting of rows of projecting 
iron spikes. By this device sleep was denied him ; 
for to M'hichever side passive drowsiness made him 
lean as time dragged on, these spikes pierced deep 
into his flesh. Weep no more, young man. That 
endurance is greater than all triumphs. His laurels 
will be green throughout the ages, as long as unstained 
Loyalty keeps her seat in heaven and on earth, and 
will last as long as virtue's name is worshipped. The 
day will come when posterity will shudder to hear 
of the death which thou, O famous leader, madest 
light of." Thus Marus spoke, while he tended the 
young man's wounds with sorrowful care.^ 

details many years earlier, either from his mother, Marcia, 
or from Marus himself. 

321 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Interea, rapidas perfusa cruoribus alas, 
sicut sanguinea Thrasymenni tinxerat unda, 
vera ac ficta simul spargebat Fama per urbem. 
AUia et infandi Senones captaeque recursat 555 

attonitis arcis facies : excussit habenas 
luctificus Pavor, et tempestas aucta timendo. 
hie raptim ruit in muros. vox horrida fertur, 
hostis adest, iaciuntque sudes et inania tela, 
ast aliae, laeeris canentes crinibus, alta 560 

verrunt tecta deum et seris post fata suorum 
sollicitant precibus. requiem tenebraeque diesque 
amisere ; iacent portis ululante dolore 
dispersum vulgus, remeantumque ordine longo 
servat turba gradus ; pendent ex ore loquentum, 565 
nee laetis sat certa fides, iterumque morantur 
orando et, vultu interdum sine voce precati, 
quod rogitant, audire pavent. hinc fletus, ubi aures 
percussae graviore malo ; metus inde, negatum 
si scire, et dubius responsi nuntius haesit. 570 

iamque ubi conspectu redeuntum visa propinquo 
corpora, sollicite laeti funduntur et ipsis 
oscula vulneribus figunt superosque fatigant. 

Hie inter trepidos, curae venerandus, agebat 
Serranum Marus ; atque olim post fata mariti 575 
non egressa domum vitato Marcia coetu 
et lucem causa natorum passa, ruebat 
in luctum similem antiquo ; turbata repente 

« See note to i. 624. 
322 



PUNICA, VI. 652-578 

Meanwhile Rumour, her swift wings dyed with 
blood — she had dipped them in the blood-stained 
waters of Lake Trasimene — spread tidings true and 
false throughout Rome. In their terror men re- 
called the battle of the Allia, the accursed Senones, 
and the sight of the captured citadel. ** Woeful Fear 
shook off all restraint, and the calamity was made 
worse by apprehension. Some rush to the walls. A 
dreadful cry is raised — " The enemy is upon us." 
They hurl stakes and javelins at an imaginary foe. 
Women also, with their grey hair torn, lay their 
heads in the dust of the lofty temples, and besiege 
the gods with prayer for their dear ones whom 
death has already taken. Neither day nor night 
brings relief. The people, vociferous in their grief, 
lie scattered round the different gates ; and they 
follow, step by step, the long procession of fugitives, 
and hang upon their hps. Good news they can 
hardly believe ; they stop a man, to ask a second 
time ; some beg for tidings with dumb looks, and 
dread the answer to their question. Some weep, 
when they hear of a grievous loss ; others are 
affrighted, when the messenger professes ignorance 
and hesitates to answer. But when the fugitives 
came close and were clearly seen, then their 
friends crowded round them with a fearful joy, 
kissing their very wounds, and wearying Heaven 
with prayers. 

Now Marus came through the anxious crowd, lead- 
ing Serranus with praiseworthy care ; and then 
Marcia, who had never left the house since her 
husband's death, but shunned society and endured 
life only for the sake of her sons — she too rushed forth, 
to mourn as she had mourned long ago. Startled by 

323 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

agnoscensque Marum : " fidei comes indite magnae, 
hunc certe mihi reddis," ait. " leve vulnus ? an alte 
usque ad nostra ferus penetravit viscera mucro ? 681 
quicquid id est, dum non vinctum Carthago catenis 
abripiat poenaeque instauret monstra paternae, 
gratum est, o superi. quotiens heu, nate, petebam, 
ne patrias iras animosque in proelia ferres, 685 

neu te belligeri stimularet in arma parentis 
triste decus. nimium vivacis dura senectae 
supplicia expendi. quaeso, iam parcite, si qua 
numina pugnastis nobis." 

At cladis acerbae 
discussa ceu nube, patres conquirere fessis 690 

iam rebus meditantur opem, atque ad munera belli 
certatur, pulsusque timor graviore periclo. 
maxima curarum, rectorem ponere castris, 
cui Latium et moles rerum quassata recumbat, 
spectante occasum patria. lovis ilia ruenti 695 

Ausoniae atque Italis tempus protendere regnis 
cura fuit ; nam Tyrrhenos Poenumque secundis 
Albana surgens respexerat arce tumentem, 
qui ferre in muros victricia signa parabat. 
tum quassans caput : " baud umquam tibi lupiter," 

inquit, 
" o iuvenis, dederit portas transcendere Romae 601 
atque inferre pedem. Tyrrhenas sternere valles 
caedibus, et ripas fluviorum exire Latino 
sanguine fas fuerit : Tarpeium accedere collem 
murisque aspirare veto." quater inde coruscum 605 
contorsit dextra fulmen, quo tota reluxit 

" He had a famous temple on the Alban mount, where 
the Roman consuls had to offer sacrifice once a year. 
824 



PUNICA, VI. 579-606 

the sudden sight and recognizing Marus, she spoke to 
him : " Famous comrade of one most faithful, one at 
least you bring back to me alive. Is his wound 
slight ?- Or did the cruel point pierce deep, to my 
very vitals ? In either case, I thank the gods, if only 
Carthage does not carry him off in fetters, and repeat 
the tortures that his father endured. Alas, my son, 
how often I begged you not to carry into battle 
the impetuous ardour of your sire, and not to be 
urged on to feats of arms by his crown of thorns ! I 
have lived too long and paid a heavy penalty for my 
long life. Spare me henceforth, ye gods, if any gods 
have fought against us." 

And now, as if the thunder-cloud of cruel disaster 
had dispersed, the Senate discussed the means of 
mending their desperate plight ; each did his utmost 
to carry on the war ; and fear was dispelled by the 
terrible danger. Their chief task was to appoint 
a commander, who could support Rome and the 
shattered edifice of the state, now that destruction 
was in sight. It was Jupiter who took in hand to 
grant a reprieve from ruin to Italy and to Roman rule. 
For aloft on the Alban mount " he had seen the land 
of Tuscany, and Hannibal puffed up with success and 
ready to carry his victorious standards against the 
walls of Rome. Shaking his head in anger, he spoke : 
" Never shall Jupiter permit you, young man, to pass 
the gates of Rome and walk her streets. To cover 
the valleys of Tuscany with the slain, and to make the 
rivers brim with Roman blood — these things you may 
do ; but I forbid you to approach the Tarpeian hill 
and to raise your hopes to the walls of Rome." Then 
four times he hurled his flashing bolt with his right 
arm, till all Tuscany was lighted up ; and rolling a 

325 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Maeonidum tellus, atramque per aethera volvens 

abrupto fregit caelo super agmina nubem. 

nee Poenum avertisse satis ; dat numine magno 

Aeneadis mentem, gremio deponere tuto 610 

Romuleam sedem Fabioque salutis habenas 

credere ductori. cui postquam tradita belli 

iura videt : " non hunc," inquit, " superaverit unquam 

invidia aut blando popularis gloria fuco ; 

non astus fallax, non praeda aliusve cupido. 615 

bellandi vetus ac laudum cladumque quieta 

mente capax ; par ingenium castrisque togaeque." 

sic genitor divum recipitque ad sidera gressum. 

Hie, circumspectis nulli deprensus in armis 
laudatusque lovi, Fabius mirabile quantum 620 

gaudebat reducem patriae annumerare reversus, 
duxerat egrediens quam secum in proelia, pubem. 
nee membris quisquam natove pepercit amato 
acrius, aut vidit socium per bella cruorem 
tristior. atque idem, perfusus sanguine victor 625 
hostili, plenis repetebat moenia castris. 
stirpe genus clarum caeloque affinis origo. 
nam remeans longis olim Tirynthius oris 
et triplicis monstri famam et spectacula captas 
mira boves hac, qua fulgent nunc moenia Romae, 630 
egit ovans. tunc Arcadius, sic fama, locabat 



" Quintus Fabius Maximus,surnamed Cunctator (Dawdler, 
Slow-coach), was elected Dictator after the defeat of Trasi- 
mene. He is one of the most famous of old Roman worthies ; 
and to his cautious strategy his countrymen attributed their 
ultimate defeat of Hannibal. See note to ii. 3. 

'' Geryon : see note to i. 277. 

'' Evander, a son of Mercury and Carmentis, brought a 
band of colonists from Arcadia to Italy : with the consent of 
King Faunus, he founded a city, called Pallantium after his 



PUNICA, VI. 607-631 

black cloud through the sky, he broke it and made a 
rift in the heavens over the head of the Carthaginian 
army. Nor was he content with turning Hannibal 
away : his divine power inspired the Aeneadae to 
place a sure shield before the seat of Romulus, and 
to entrust to Fabius " as general the control of their 
deliverance ; and when he saw the supreme com- 
mand handed over to him, " This man," he said, 
" will never yield to jealousy or the sweet poison of 
popular applause ; he will be proof against artful 
devices and desire of plunder and all other passions. 
A veteran soldier, he can meet success and disaster 
with a quiet mind ; neither war nor peace is beyond 
his capacity." Thus spoke the Father of the gods, 
and went back to his heaven. 

This Fabius, so praised by Jupiter, was never sur- 
prised by any foe ; so wary a campaigner was he. 
Marvellous was his joy, when he came home and 
brought the soldiers he had led forth to war back to 
their country without one missing. No man was ever 
more eager to guard his own life, or the life of a 
beloved son, than he to spare his soldiers ; and no 
man was sadder to see the blood of his comrades shed 
in battle ; and yet he ever returned to Rome red with 
the slaughter of foemen, a conqueror with undepleted 
ranks. His birth was noble, and the founder of his 
family was akin to the gods. For Hercules long ago, 
when he came back from a far country, drove his 
booty in triumph to the place where glorious Rome 
now stands. He had taken the kine that were the 
pride of the triple monster ^ ; and men marvelled to 
see them. Legend tells that a man from Arcadia " 

birthplace, on one of the Seven Hills which was afterwards 
called the Palatine. 

327 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

inter desertos fundata Palatia dumos 
paupere sub populo ductor ; cum regia virgo, 
hospite victa sacro, Fabium de crimine laeto 
procreat et magni commiscet seminis ortus 635 

Areas in Hereuleos mater ventura nepotes. 
ter centum domus haec Fabios armavit in hostem, 
limine progresses uno ; pulcherrima quorum 
cunctando Fabius superavit facta ducemque 
Hannibalem aequando. tantus tunc, Poene, fuisti ! 

Dum se perculsi renovant in bella Latini, 641 

turbatus love et exuta spe moenia Romae 
pulsandi, colles Umbros atque arva petebat 
Hannibal, excelso summi qua vertice montis 
devexum lateri pendet Tuder, atque ubi latis 645 
proiecta in campis nebulas exhalat inertes, 
et sedet ingentem pascens Mevania taurum, 
dona lovi ; tum Palladios se fundit in agros 
Picenum dives praedae atque errantibus armis, 
quo spoil a invitant, transfert populantia signa ; 650 
donee pestiferos mitis Campania cursus 
tardavit bellumque sinu indefensa recepit. 

Hie dum stagnosi spectat templumque domosque 
Literni ductor, varia splendentia cernit 
pictura belli patribus monumenta prioris 655 

exhausti — nam porticibus signata manebant — 
quis inerat longus rerum et spectabilis ordo. 
primus bella truci suadebat Regulus ore, 

« See vii. 39 foil. 

'' That he was not defeated by Fabius is the best proof of 
Hannibal's genius for war. 

" Also called Tudertum (now Todi) : a town in Umbria. 

** For the bulls of Mevania see iv. 544 foil. 

« A town on the Campanian coast, where Scipio Africanus 
328 



PUNICA, VI. 632-668 

was then building a house on the Palatine among 
uninhabited thorn-brakes, a king with needy sub- 
jects ; and the king's daughter, unable to resist the 
divine stranger, gave birth to a Fabius — a sin that 
brought no sorrow ; and thus the Arcadian woman 
blended with her own the blood of that mighty sire, 
to become the ancestress of the stock of Hercules. 
Three hundred Fabii once went forth to war from a 
single household " ; but this Fabius surpassed their 
glorious deed by delay and by proving himself a match 
for Hannibal. So great wert thou then, O Hannibal ! ^ 

While the defeated Romans were preparing for 
a fresh campaign, Hannibal, rebuffed by Jupiter's 
warning and hopeless of battering the walls of Rome, 
made for the hills and fields of Umbria, where Tuder *' 
hanijs on a high mountain-top and slopes down its 
side ; and where Mevania, lying low on the wide 
plains, breathes forth sluggish mists and feeds mighty 
bulls for Jupiter's altar.** Next he passed on over the 
land of Picenum, rich in olives, and took much booty ; 
then he moved his plundering forces from place to 
place, wherever spoil attracted them, till mild Cam- 
pania stopped his destructive raids and harboured the 
war in her undefended breast. 

Here, at Liternum ^ in the marshes, while Hannibal 
viewed the temple and buildings of the city, he saw, 
painted in divers colours on the temple-cloisters, a 
record of the former war, which the past generation 
had fought to a finish ; and these pictures remained 
upon the walls, representing a long succession of 
notable events. First there was Regulus, speaking 
with fierce aspect in favour of war — war that he 

died, having withdrawn from Rome in disgust with the state 
of public affairs. 

329 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

bella neganda, viro si noscere fata daretur. 
at princeps Poenis indicta more parentum 660 

Appius astabat pugna lauroque revinctus 
iustum Sarrana ducebat caede triumphum. 
aequoreum iuxta decus et navale tropaeum, 
rostra gerens nivea surgebat mole columna ; 
exuvias Marti donumque Duilius, alto 665 

ante omnes mersa Poenorum classe, dicabat. 
cui, nocturnus honos, funalia clara sacerque 
post epulas tibicen adest ; castosque penates 
insignis laeti repetebat murmure cantus. 
cernit et extremos defuncti civis honores : 670 

Scipio ductoris celebrabat funera Poeni, 
Sardoa victor terra, videt inde ruentem 
litoribus Libycis dispersa per agmina pubem ; 
instabat crista fulgens et terga premebat 
Regulus ; Autololes Nomadesque et Maurus et 
Hammon 675 

et Garamas positis dedebant oppida telis. 
lentus harenoso spumabat Bagrada camipo 
viperea sanie, turmisque minantibus ultro 
pugnabat serpens et cum duce bella gerebat. 
necnon proiectum puppi frustraque vocantem 680 
numina Amyclaeum mergebat perfida ponto 
rectorem manus, et seras tibi, Regule, poenas 
Xanthippus digni pendebat in aequore leti. 



" That is, his own defeat and captivity. 

" Appius Claudius Caudex, consul in 264 b.c, led a Roman 
army to Sicily and defeated the Carthaginians. 

* In 260 B.C. C. Duihus, consul in that year, defeated a 
Carthaginian fleet at Mylae, on the N.E. coast of Sicily : he 
received a triumph as well as the peculiar honours mentioned 
here, which he seems to have conferred upon himself. 

830 



PUNICA, VI. 659-683 

should have spoken against, could he have foretold 
the future." Next Appius ^ was seen ; he was first to 
declare war in the ancient fashion against Carthage ; 
and crowned with laurel he led along a triumphal 
procession, earned by slaughter of Carthaginians. 
Hard by was seen a tall column of white marble, 
adorned with the beaks of ships, a naval trophy for a 
victory at sea ; Duilius,'' the first to sink a Cartha- 
ginian fleet, was dedicating his spoils to Mars and 
offering sacrifice. (He had honour in the night ; for 
flaming torches and a temple-piper attended him 
home from the banquet ; and he walked back to his 
modest dwelling to the sound of a merry tune.) Here 
Hannibal saw too the last honours paid to a dead 
countryman ; for Scipio, victorious over Sardinia, was 
conducting the funeral of a Carthaginian general. 
Next he saw the Roman soldiers on the African coast 
rushing on through a routed army ; and in hot 
pursuit of the rear came Regulus with glittering 
plume : Autololes, Numidians, Moors, Ammonians, 
Garamantes — all laid down their arms and gave 
up their towns. Bagrada, the sluggish river that 
passes over a sandy desert, was shown there also, 
foaming with the monster's slime, when the serpent 
challenged the threatening squadrons and fought a 
battle against Regulus.** Elsewhere, the Spartan 
general, hurled overboard and appealing to the gods 
in vain, was being drowned by a treacherous crew ; 
and thus Xanthippus at last paid the penalty to 
Regulus by a deserved death in the sea.* The artists 

<* See 11. 146 foil. 

* Several ancient writers report that the Carthaginians, 
being jealous of the fame of Xanthippus, caused him to be 
thrown overboard while he was returning to Sparta. 

331 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

addiderant geminas medio consurgere fluctu 

Aegates ; lacerae circum fragmenta videres 685 

classis et efFusos fluitare in gurgite Poenos. 

possessor pelagi pronaque Lutatius aura 

captivas puppes ad litora victor agebat. 

haec inter iuncto religatus in ordine Hamilcar, 

ductoris genitor, cunctarum ab imagine rerum 690 

totius in sese vulgi converterat ora. 

sed Pacis faciem et pollutas foederis aras 

deceptumque lovem ac dictantes iura Latinos 

cernere erat. strictas trepida cervice secures 

horrebat Libys, ac summissis ordine palmis 695 

orantes veniam iurabant irrita pacta. 

haec Eryce e summo spectabat laeta Dione. 

Quae postquam infesto percensuit omnia vultu 
arridens Poenus, lenta proclamat ab ira : 
" non leviora dabis nostris inscribere tectis 700 

acta meae dextrae : captam, Carthago, Saguntum 
da spectare, simul flamma ferroque ruentem ; 
perfodiant patres natorum membra ; nee Alpes 
exiguus domitas capiet locus ; ardua celsis 
persultet iuga victor equis Garamasque Nomasque. 
addes Ticini spumantes sanguine ripas 706 

et nostrum Trebiam et Thrasymenni htora Tusci 
clausa cadaveribus. ruat ingens corpore et armis 
Flaminius ; fugiat consul manante cruore 
Scipio et ad socios nati cervice vehatur. 710 

haec mitte in populos, et adhuc maiora dabuntur. 



« See note to i. 35. 

^ Venus, who had a famous temple upon Mount Eryx in 
Sicily. 

" See iv. 454 foil. 

332 



PUNICA, VI. 684-711 

had painted also the two Aegatian islands * rising in 
mid-sea ; and the remnants of a shattered fleet were 
visible all round, and shipwrecked Carthaginians 
adrift on the water, while Lutatius, lord of the sea, 
drove the captured ships ashore before the wind. 
And there too was Hamilcar, the father of Hannibal ; 
fettered in a long row of prisoners, he turned the 
eyes of the whole throng away from all the painted 
scenes upon himself alone. But there one might see the 
form of Peace, and the profaned altars at which the 
treaty was sworn, and the mockery of Jupiter, and 
the Romans dictating terms. With bowed necks the 
Libyans shrank from the bare axes, and held out 
their hands together begging for pardon, and 
swore to a treaty which they did not observe, while 
Dione ^ looked on the scene rejoicing, from the 
heights of Eryx. 

All these pictures Hannibal surveyed with a face of 
anger and contempt, and then cried out with rising 
passion : " Deeds as great as these, the work of my 
right arm, shall Carthage yet display upon her walls. 
Let us see there the capture of Saguntum, overthrown 
by fire and sword together ; let fathers be shown 
stabbing their own children ; the conquest of the 
Alps will claim no little space ; let Garamantes and 
Numidians, riding on their horses, trample on the high 
peaks. Add the banks of the Ticinus foaming with 
blood, and my victory on the Trebia, and the shore of 
Lake Trasimene covered deep with the Roman dead. 
Let us see Flaminius, a giant in giant armour, crash 
to the ground, and the consul Scipio a wounded 
fugitive, borne on his son's shoulders back to their 
camp.*' Show these sights to the people, Carthage ; 
and greater sights shall be forthcoming in future : you 
VOL. I M 333 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

flagrantem effinges facibus, Carthago, Libyssis 
Romam et deiectum Tarpeia rupe Tonantem. 
interea vos, ut dignum est, ista, ocius ite, 
o iuvenes, quorum dextris mihi tanta geruntur, 715 
in cineres monumenta date atque involvite flammis." 



334 



PUNICA, VI. 712-716 

shall display Rome blazing with Libyan fire-brands, 
and the Thunderer cast down from the Tarpeian rock. 
For the present, ye soldiers, by whose valour my great 
deeds are accomplished, make haste to do what is 
right to be done : throw these pictures into the fire 
and wrap them in flames." 



SS5 



LIBER SEPTIMUS 



ARGUMENT 



Fabius determines to take no risks in the field (1-19). 
Cilnius, one of his prisoners, informs Hannibal concerning 
the family history and character of Fabius (20-78). Re- 
ligious observances at Rome (74-89). Fabius restores dis- 
cipline in the army. Hannibal cannot tempt him to fight 
(90-122). Hannibal moves to Apulia and tries to provoke 
Fabius by various devices. He returns to Campania and 
ravages the Falernian country (123-161). The visit of Bacchus 
to the aged peasant, Falernus (162-211). Fabius explains his 
policy of inaction to his discontented soldiers (212-259). A 
trick of Hannibal's, to make the Dictator more unpopular 

Interea trepidis Fabius spes unica rebus. 

ille quidem socios atque aegram vulnere praeceps 

Ausoniam armabat viridique ad dura laborum 

bellator senio iam caslra movebat in hostem. 

sed mens humana maior non tela nee enses 6 

nee fortes spectabat equos : tot milia contra 

Poenorum invictumque ducem, tot in agmina solus 

ibat et in sese cuncta arma virosque gerebat. 

ac ni sacra seni vis impressumque fuisset, 

sister e Fortunam cunctando ad versa foventem, 10 

ultima Dardanii transisset nominis aetas. 

ille modum superis in Punica castra favoris 

336 



BOOK VII 

ARGUMENT {continued) 

(260-267). Hannibal, having got into a dangerous situation^ 
breaks out by means of a stratagem and encamps on open 
ground (268-376). The Dictator, obliged to visit Rome, 
warns Minucius against fighting (377-408). A Carthaginian 
fleet lands at Caieta : the Nymphs are terrified ; but the 
prophecy of Proteus comforts them (409-493). Minucius 
is given equal powers with the Dictator (494-522). The 
Dictator returns and gives up half the army to Minucius : 
Minucius rashly engages the enemy but is rescued by the 
Dictator (523-579). Fabius is hailed as *' Father " by 
Minucius and the soldiers (730-750). 

Meanwhile Fabius was the one beacon-light in that 
dark hour. He made haste to arm sore-wounded 
Italy and her allies ; his green old age faced the hard- 
ships of war, and he soon marched against the foe. 
But that more than human genius recked little of 
spears and swords and strong steeds. He went forth 
alone against an army of so many thousand Cartha- 
ginians and their invincible leader ; and all the men 
and arms of Italy were comprised in his person. But 
for that old man's godlike power, but for his fixed 
resolve to check by delay Fortune's favour for the 
enemy, the Roman name would have passed away 
for ever. He it was who made the gods withdraw 
their favour from the Punic host, and put a stop to 

337 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

addidit et Libyae finem inter prospera bella 
vincendi statuit ; tumefactum cladibus ille 
Hesperiis lento Poenum moderamine lusit. 15 

summe ducum, qui regna iterum labentia Troiae 
et fluxas Latii res maiorumque labores, 
qui Carmentis opes et regna Evandria servas, 
surge, age et emerito sacrum caput insere caelo. 

At Libyae ductor, postquam nova nomina lecto 20 
dictatore vigent, raptim mutata Latinis 
imperia baud frustra reputans, cognoscere avebat, 
quae fortuna viro, quodnam decus ; ultima fessis 
ancora cur Fabius, quem post tot Roma procellas 
Hannibali putet esse parem. fervore carentes 25 
angebant anni fraudique inaperta senectus. 
ocius accitum captivo ex agmine poscit 
progeniem ritusque ducis dextraeque labores. 
Cilnius, Arreti Tyrrhenis ortus in oris, 
clarum nomen erat ; sed laeva adduxerat hora 30 
Ticini iuvenem ripis, fususque mentis 
vulnere equi, Libycis praebebat colla catenis. 
hie ardens exire malis et rumpere vitam : 
" non cum Flaminio tibi res, nee fervida Gracchi 
in manibus consulta," inquit. " Tirynthia gens est ; 
quam si fata tuis genuissent, Hannibal, oris, 36 

terrarum imperium Carthaginis arce videres. 
non ego te longa serie per singula ducam. 
ioc sat erit, nosces Fabios certamine ab uno : 
Veientum populi violata pace negabant 40 

acceptare iugum, ac vicino Marte furebat 



" For Evander and Carmentis see note to vi. 631. 

^ A noble Etruscan name, borne later by C. Cilnius 
JNlaecenas, the patron and friend of the Augustan poets. 

" He expected to suffer death for his bold answer. 
338 



PUNICA, VII. 13-41 

the victorious campaign of the African invaders ; it 
was his wise policy of delay that baffled Hannibal 
elated with conquest. O greatest of generals, who 
didst save the realm of Troy from falling a second 
time, preserver of perishing Italy and the great deeds 
of our ancestors, of Carmentis's treasure and the 
throne of Evander" — arise and lift up thy sacred head 
to the heaven which is thy due ! 

But, when the dictator had been chosen and new 
names came to the front, Hannibal, reflecting that 
the Romans had not so quickly changed the supreme 
command without good reason, was eager to learn 
the dictator's rank and reputation ; he wondered why 
Fabius was the sole remaining anchor of the storm- 
tossed state, and why Rome thought him a match for 
Hannibal. He was troubled by his rival's age, free 
from youthful passion and proof against stratagem. 
Quickly he summoned one of his prisoners and ques- 
tioned him concerning the dictator's family, his 
manner of life, and his martial exploits. Cilnius,*' 
born in the Tuscan land of Arretium, bore a famous 
name ; but an evil hour had brought him to the banks 
of the Ticinus, where he was thrown from his wounded 
horse and taken prisoner by the Libyans. He was 
eager to end his troubles by a violent death " and 
answered thus : " You have not now to do with a 
Flaminius or a hot-headed Gracchus. Hercules is 
the ancestor of his house ; and if Fate had made them 
your countrymen, Hannibal, you would have seen 
Carthage mistress of the world. I shall not detain 
you with a long list of separate achievements : one 
will suffice, and from one battle you shall learn what 
the Fabii are. The people of Veil had broken the 
peace and refused to submit to the Roman yoke, war 

3S9 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ad portas bellum, consulque ciebat ad arma. 
dilectus vetiti, privataque castra penates 
Herculei implevere ; domo, mirabile, ab una 
patricius iunctis exercitus ibat in armis. 45 

ter centum exiluere duces ; quocumque liberet, 
uno non pavidus rexisses bella magistro. 
sed (dirum egressis omen) Scelerata minaci 
stridentis sonitu tremuerunt limina portae, 
maximaque Herculei mugivit numinis ara. 60 

invasere hostem, numerarique aspera virtus 
baud est passa viros, et plures milite caedes. 
saepe globo densi, saepe et per devia passim 
dispersi subiere vices ; meritique labore 
aequato nulli quisquam virtute secundus, 55 

ducere ter centum Tarpeia ad templa triumphos. 
spes heu fallaces oblitaque corda caducum, 
mortali quodcumque datur ! grex ille virorum, 
qui Fabia gente incolumi deforme putabat 
publica bella geri, pariter cecidere deorum 60 

invidia, subitis circumvenientibus armis. 
nee tamen occisos est cur laetere ; supersunt, 
quot tibi sint Libyaeque satis ; certaverit unus 
ter centum dextris. tarn vivida membra laborque 
providus et cauta soUertia tecta quiete. 65 

nee vero, calidi, nunc tu, cui sanguinis aetas, 
foderis in pugna velocius ilia planta 
bellatoris equi frenisque momorderis ora." 
quem cernens avidum leti post talia Poenus : 

" The Porta Carmentalis, between the Capitoline Hill and 
the Tiber, was called Scelerata after the destruction of the 
Fabii, who had marched out of Rome by that gate. The 
date assigned is 478 b.c. 

^ The Great Altar of Hercules stood in the cattle-market at 
Rome. 
340 



PUNICA, VII. 42-69 

was raging close to the gates of Rome, and the consul 
gave the call to arms. No levy was held : the clan 
of Hercules, unhelped by the State, made up an army. 
From a single house — marvellous to tell ! — there 
went forth an army of patricians to fight side by side. 
Three hundred leaders sprang to arms, and with 
any one of them in command you might have fought 
a campaign with confidence. But they went forth 
with evil omens : the Bloody Gate <* creaked with 
inauspicious sound, and a moaning came from the 
Great Altar of divine Hercules.^ When they attacked 
the foe, their fierce valour suffered them not to 
count the enemy, and they slew more than their 
own number. Often in close array, and often 
scattered afar over uneven ground, they endured 
the changing chances of battle ; and by their equal 
effort and equal valour they deserved to lead three 
hundred triumphs to the temple of Jupiter. But 
alas for hope deceived ! They forgot that no boon 
granted to mortal man is lasting. That band of 
heroes, who thought shame that the Fabian clan 
should not hazard their lives when their country was 
at war, were suddenly surrounded and slain all to- 
gether, because of the j ealousy of Heaven. But you, 
Hannibal, have no reason to rejoice at their death : 
enough of them is left to cope with you and Libya : 
one Fabius will match the three hundred warriors. 
Such life is there in his limbs ; so painstaking is his 
foresight ; such shrewdness does he hide beneath 
calmness and caution. Though you are of the age 
when blood is hot, you will not be swifter than Fabius 
to spur the flanks of your war-horse and tear his mouth 
with the bridle." Such a speech showed Hannibal 
that Cilnius was eager for death. " Fool ! " he cried : 
VOL. I M 2 841 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

*' nequicquam nostras, demens," ait, ** elicis iras 70 
et captiva paras moriendo evadere vincla. 
vivendum est. arta serventur colla catena." 
haec iuvenis, divisque tumens ausisque secundis. 

At patres Latiasque nurus raptabat ad aras 
cura deum. maesto sufFusae lumina vultu 75 

femineus matres graditur chorus ; ordine longo 
lunoni pallam conceptaque vota dicabant : 
** hue ades, o regina deum, gens casta precamur 
et ferimus, digno quaecumque est nomine, turba 
Ausonidum pulchrumque et, acu et subtemine fulvo 80 
quod nostrae nevere manus, venerabile donum. 
ac dum decrescit matrum metus, hoc tibi, diva, 
interea velamen erit. si pellere nostris 
Marmaricam terris nubem dabis, omnis in auro 
pressa tibi varia fulgebit gemma corona." 86 

necnon et proprio venerantur Pallada done 
Phoebumque armigerumque deum primamque 

Dionen. 
tanta adeo, cum res trepidae, reverentia divum 
nascitur ; at rarae fumant felicibus arae. 

Dum Roma antiquos templis indicit honores, 90 
iam Fabius, tacito procedens agmine et arte 
bellandi lento simiHs, praecluserat omnes 
Fortunaeque hostique vias. discedere signis 
baud Hcitum, summumque decus, quo tollis ad astra 
imperii, Romane, caput, parere docebat. 95 

verum ubi prima satis conspecta in montibus altis 
signa procul, fulsitque no vis exercitus armis, 
arrectae spes Sidonii, fervetque secundis 
fortunae iuvenis. vincendi sola videtur, 
quod nondum steterint acies, mora : ** Pergite," 
clamat, 100 

342 



PUNICA, VII. 70-100 

" in vain you seek to rouse my wrath and to escape 
captivity by death. You must go on Uving. Let him 
be guarded in close fetters." Thus he spoke, proud 
of victory and the favour of Heaven. 

But the senators and matrons of Rome repaired in 
haste to the temples, to worship the gods. With sad 
looks and streaming eyes, the band of women marched 
in long procession, and offered a robe to Juno and 
solemn vows. " Be present, O Queen of Heaven, 
we, thy chaste people, pray ; and we, all the Roman 
women of noble name, bring thee a gift wondrous fair, 
which our own hands have woven and embroidered 
with threads of gold. This robe thou shalt wear for 
the present, O goddess, until mothers grow less fearful 
for their sons. But if thou dost grant us to drive the 
African storm-cloud away from our land, divers jewels, 
set in gold, shall adorn thy glittering crown." They 
made special offerings also to Pallas and Phoebus, 
to the War-god, and to Dione ° above all. So great 
is the sudden piety of men in time of trouble ; but 
altars seldom smoke in prosperous times. 

While Rome in ancient fashion appointed sacrifices 
for the temples of the gods, Fabius, moving quietly 
forwards, by his strategy which might be mistaken 
for inaction, had barred every approach against 
Fortune and the foe. He suffered none to leave the 
ranks, and taught his men discipline — discipline, the 
chief glory that raises the imperial head of Rome 
to heaven. But, when the first Roman ensigns were 
distinctly seen on the heights, and the new weapons 
of the army glittered in the distance, Hannibal's hopes 
rose high. Intoxicated by success, he made sure 
of victory as soon as the armies met : " On ! on ! " 
" Venus, the ancestress of the Roman nation. 

343 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

** ite citi, ruite ad portas, propellite vallum 
pectoribus. quantum campi distamus, ad umbras 
tantum hosti superest. resides ad bella vocantur, 
quis pudeat certare, senes : quodcumque videtis, 
hoc reliquum est, primo damnatum ut inutile bello. 
en, ubi nunc Gracchi atque ubi nunc sunt fulmina 
gentis 106 

Scipiadae ? pulsi Ausonia non ante paventem 
dimisere fugam, quam terror ad ultima mundi 
Oceanumque tulit ; profugus nunc errat uterque, 
nomina nostra tremens, et ripas servat Hiberi. 110 
est etiam, cur Flaminio mihi gloria caeso 
creverit, et titulis libeat cur figere nostris 
crudum Marte viri nomen : quot demere noster 
huic annos Fabio gladius valet ! at tamen audet. 
audeat. haud ultra faxo spectetur in armis." 115 

Talia vociferans volucri rapit agmina cursu 
ac, praevectus equo, nunc dextra provocat hostem, 
nunc voce increpitat, missa nunc eminus hasta 
fertur ovans pugnaeque agitat simulacra futurae. 
ut Thetidis proles Phrygiis Vulcania campis 120 

arma tulit, clipeo amplexus terramque polumque 
maternumque fretum totumque in imagine mundum. 

Cassarum sedet irarum spectator et alti 
celsus colle iugi domat exultantia corda 
infractasque minas dilato Marte fatigat 125 

sollers cunctandi Fabius. ceu nocte sub atra 
munitis pastor stabulis per ovilia clausum 

" Ti. Sempronius Gracchus, consul in 213 b.c, is meant: 
see iv. 495 foil. The Scipios are the brothers, Publius 
Cornelius and Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio, the father and uncle 
of Africanus : they had been sent to fight Hasdrubal, 
Hannibal's brother, in Spain, and both fell there in battle. 

" See note to i. 270. " The Ebro. 



PUNICA, VII. 101-127 

he cried ; " make haste ! Rush to the gates of Rome ! 
Knock down the ramparts with your breasts ! The 
space between the hosts is all that separates the 
enemy from death. They summon to arms the old 
and feeble, unworthy antagonists for us. All whom 
you see now are the refuse — men discarded as useless 
when the war began. Where are now the Gracchi, 
and where are the two Scipios," the thunderbolts of 
their nation ? Behold ! Hunted out of Italy, they 
never paused in their cowardly flight until terror 
drove them to the Ocean and the World's End ^ ; each 
is now a wandering exile, and keeps to the banks of 
the Iberus," in dread of my name. With good reason 
my fame was increased when Flaminius fell ; with 
good reason I rejoice to add to the list of my exploits 
the name of that doughty warrior ; but how few 
years can my sword cut off from the life of this 
Fabius ! And yet he dares. Let him dare ! Never 
again, I warrant, shall he be seen in arms." 

Thus he shouted, and pushed his army on with 
flying speed. Riding in advance, now he shook his 
fist at the foe, and now taunted them, and again 
hurled his spear from far and rode on triumphant, re- 
hearsing the impending battle. So the son of Thetis ^ 
bore on the plains of Troy the armour that Vulcan 
forged — the shield on which the whole world was 
depicted — earth and sky and his mother's sea. 

Fabius sat and watched this fruitless rage from a 
lofty mountain-top ; by refusing battle he tamed their 
proud hearts, and wore out their baffled boasting 
by masterly delay. So through the dark night 
the shepherd sleeps secure who keeps his flock 

<• Achilles : Thetis was a marine goddess. 

345 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

impavidus somni servat pecus ; effera saevit 
atque impasta truces ululatus turba luporum 
exercet morsuque quatit restantia claustra. 130 

Irritus incepti movet inde atque Apula tardo 
arva Libys passu legit ac nunc valle residit 
conditus occulta, si praecipitare sequentem 
atque inopinata detur circumdare fraude ; 
nunc nocturna parat caecae celantibus umbris 135 
furta viae retroque abitum fictosque timores 
assiniulat ; turn castra citus deserta relicta 
ostentat praeda atque invitat prodigus hostem. 
qualis Maeonia passim Maeandrus in ora, 
cum sibi gurgitibus flexis revolutus oberrat. 140 

nulla vacant incepta dolis ; simul omnia versat 
miscetque exacuens varia ad conamina mentem. 
sicut aquae splendor, radiatus lampade solis, 
dissultat per tecta, vaga sub imagine vibrans 
luminis, et tremula laquearia verberat umbra. 145 
iamque dolore furens ita secum immurmurat irae : 
" obvia si primus nobis hie tela tulisset, 
nuUane nunc Trebiae et Thrasymenni nomina ? nulli 
lugerent Itali ? numquam Phaethontius amnis 
sanguinea pontum turbasset decolor unda ? 150 

inventum, dum se cohibet, terimurque sedendo, 
vincendi genus ; en quotiens, velut obvius iret, 
discinxit ratione dolos fraudesque resolvit ! " 
haec secum, mediam insomni cum bucina noctem 
divideret, iamque, excubias sortitus iniquas, 155 

" Of provoking a battle. 

" The Eridanus, the river Po : Phaethon fell into this river 
when he made his ill-fated attempt to drive the chariot of the 
Sun. 

" In a Roman camp both day and night were divided into 
four watches of three hours each ; and Hannibal's army may 
have observed the same routine. 

346 



PUNICA, VII. 128-155 

penned in the fold behind iron bars, while the pack 
of wolves rage outside, mad with hunger, howling in 
their fury and rattling with their teeth at the unyield- 
ing barriers. 

Foiled in his design," Hannibal moved away and 
marched slowly through the land of Apulia. Some- 
times he halted and hid in some remote valley, hoping 
for a chance to hurry on the foe behind him and 
surround them with an unexpected ambush ; or 
again he planned secret marches under cover of 
night, and pretended to retreat in panic ; and again 
he suddenly abandoned in sight of the enemy a 
camp filled with booty, and set a trap for them, 
careless of the cost. Thus the Maeander, as it flows 
through the land of Lydia, turns back in its crooked 
course and wanders till it rejoins its own stream. 
All his attempts are full of guile ; he tries every 
trick at once, and sharpens his ingenuity for every 
kind of enterprise. Even so, when a sunbeam is 
reflected in water, the Hght flits to and fro through 
the room, quivering as the reflection moves, and 
strikes the ceiling with flickering shadow. And now, 
wild with rage, Hannibal thus complained in his 
wrath : " If I had met Fabius at first in battle, would 
the Trebia and Lake Trasimene never have become 
famous ? would no Italians be mourning their dead ? 
would the river of Phaethon ^ never have darkened 
the sea with its blood-stained waters ? He has in- 
vented a new method of conquest : he holds his hand, 
and we are weakened by inaction. How often, pre- 
tending an attack, has he skilfully unmasked our plots 
and disclosed our stratagems ! " Thus the sleepless 
general pondered, when the bugle sounded the mid- 
night hour, and when the third watch," to whom the 

847 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

tertius abrupta vigil iret ad arma quiete. 

vertit iter Daunique retro tellure relicta 

Campanas remeat notus populator in oras. 

hie vero, intravit postquam uberis arva Falerni — 

dives ea et numquam tellus mentita colono — 160 

addunt frugiferis inimica incendia ramis. 

Haud fas, Bacche, tuos taciturn tramittere honor es, 
quamquam magna incepta vocent. memorabere, sacri 
largitor laticis, gravidae cui nectare vites 
nullum dant prelis nomen praeferre Falernis. 165 

Massica sulcabat meliore Falernus in aevo, 
ensibus ignotis, senior iuga. pampinus umbras 
nondum uvae virides nudo texebat in arvo, 
pocula nee norant sucis mulcere Lyaei. 
fonte sitim et pura soliti defendere lympha. 170 

attulit hospitio pergentem ad litora Calpes 
extremumque diem pes dexter et hora Lyaeum, 
nee pigitum parvosque lares humilisque subire 
limina caelicolam tecti : cepere volentem 
fumosi postes et ritu pauperis aevi 176 

ante focos mensae ; laetus nee senserat hospes 
advenisse deum ; sed enim de more parentum 
grato cursabat studio instabatque senectae, 
donee opes festas puris nunc poma canistris 
composuit, nunc irriguis citus extulit hortis 180 

rorantes humore dapes. tum lacte favisque 
distinxit dulces epulas nuUoque cruore 

** Apulia. 

'' The best wine known to the Romans was produced there. 

<= A legendary figure who gave his name to the place : 
Mount Massicus is in Campania. 

^ A name for Bacchus : he made a triumphal progress 
from India to Spain, from the Far East to the Far West. 

* Bread. 

348 



PUNICA, VII. 156-182 

unwelcome duty was allotted, were roused from 
sleep to take up their arms. He now changed his 
route : he left the land of Daunus ** behind him and 
returned to Campania which had felt the spoiler's 
hand before ; but this time when he reached the 
fertile district of Falernus ^ — a rich soil it is, that never 
deceived the husbandman — they flung destroying fire 
on the fruitful branches. 

Though called away by my great theme, I may not 
pass over the honours of Bacchus without mention. 
I must tell of the god who bestowed on man the divine 
drink, and whom the nectar-bearing vines forbid to 
set any brand above the presses of Falernus. In the 
good old days before swords were known, Falernus,*' 
a man in years, used to plough the high ground of 
Mount Massicus. Then the fields were bare, and no 
vine-plant wove a green shade for the clusters ; nor 
did men know how to mellow their draught with the 
juice of Lyaeus,** but were wont to slake their thirst 
with the pure water of a spring. But when Lyaeus 
was on his way to the shore of Calpe and the setting 
sun, a lucky foot and a lucky hour brought him 
hither as a guest ; nor did the god disdain to enter 
the cottage and pass beneath its humble roof. The 
smoke-grimed door welcomed a willing guest ; the 
meal was set, in the fashion of that simple age, in 
front of the hearth ; nor was the happy host aware 
that he entertained a god ; but, as his fathers used 
lo do, he ran hither and thither vnth kindly zeal, 
tasking his faihng strength. At last the feast was 
set — fruit in clean baskets, and dainties dripping 
dew which he hastened to cull from his well-watered 
garden. Then he adorned the toothsome meal >vith 
milk and honeycomb, and heaped the gifts of Ceres * 

349 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

polluta castus mensa cerealia dona 

attulit, ac primum Vestae detersit honorem 

undique et in mediam iecit libamina flammam. 185 

deesse tuos latices, hac sedulitate senili 

captus, lacche, vet as. subito, mirabile dictu, 

fagina pampineo spumarunt pocula suco, 

pauperis hospitii pretium ; vilisque rubenti 

fluxit mulctra mero, et quercu in cratera cavata 190 

dulcis odoratis humor sudavit ab uvis. 

" en cape," Bacchus ait, " nondum tibi nota, sed olim 

viticolae nomen pervulgatura Falerni 

munera " — et haud ultra latuit deus. inde nitentem 

lumine purpureo frontem cinxere corymbi, 195 

et fusae per colla comae, dextraque pependit 

cantharus, ac vitis, thyrso delapsa virenti, 

festas Nysaeo redimivit palmite mensas. 

nee facilis laeto certasse, Falerne, sapori, 

postquam iterata tibi sunt pocula, iam pede risum, 

iam lingua titubante moves, patrique Lyaeo 201 

tempora quassatus grates et praemia digna 

vix intellectis conaris reddere verbis, 

donee composuit luctantia lumina Somnus, 

Somnus, Bacche, tibi comes additus. hie ubi primo 

ungula dispersit rores Phaethontia Phoebo, 206 

uviferis late florebat Massicus arvis, 

miratus nemora et lucentes sole racemos. 

it monti decus, atque ex illo tempore dives 

Tmolus et ambrosiis Ariusia pocula sucis 210 

ac Methymna ferox lacubus cessere Falernis. 

*• The thyrsus was the staff carried by Bacchus and his 
votaries : the top of it was decked with vine-leaves or ivy- 
leaves. 

* Nysa, some undetermined place in the East, was the 
birthplace of Bacchus. 
350 



PUNICA, VII. 183-211 

on a chaste board which no blood defiled. And from 
each dish he first plucked a portion in honour cf 
Vesta, and threw what he had plucked into the centre 
of the fire. Pleased by the old man's willing service, 
Bacchus decreed that his liquor should not be lacking. 
Suddenly a miracle was seen : to pay the poor man 
for his hospitality, the beechen cups foamed with the 
juice of the grape ; a common milk-pail ran red with 
wine ; and the sweet moisture of fragrant clusters 
sweated in the hollow oaken bowl. " Take my gift," 
said Bacchus ; " as yet it is strange to you, but here- 
after it will spread abroad the name of Falernus, the 
vine-dresser " ; and the god was no longer disguised. 
Straightway ivy crowned his brows that glowed and 
flushed ; his locks flowed down over his shoulders ; 
a beaker hung down from his right hand ; and a vine- 
plant, falling from his green thyrsus,** clothed the 
festive board with the leaves of Nysa,'' Falernus 
found it hard to strive against the cheerful draught : 
when he had drunk once again of the cup, his stammer- 
ing tongue and staggering feet roused mirth. With 
splitting head he tried, though he could not speak 
plain, to render thanks and praise to Father Lyaeus ; 
and at last Sleep, who goes ever in the train of Bacchus, 
closed his reluctant eyes. And when the sun rose 
and the hoofs of Phaethon's horses dispelled the 
dews, all Mount Massicus was green with vine-bearing 
fields, and marvelled at the leafage and the bunches 
shining in the sunlight. The fame of the mountain 
grew, and from that day fertile Tmolus and the nectar 
of Ariusia and the strong wine of Methymna " have 
all yielded precedence to the vats of Falernus. 

" The best Greek wines came from Mount Tmolus in 
Lydia, Ariusa in Chios, and Methymna in Lesbos. 

S51 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Haec turn vasta dabat terrisque infestus agebat 
Hannibal, et sicci stimulabant sanguinis enses, 
ludiflcante ducem Fabio. iamque improba castris 
Ausoniis vota et pugnandi prava libido 215 

gliscebat ; proni decurrere monte parabant. 

Da famae, da, Musa, virum, cui vincere bina 
eoncessum castra et geminos domitare furores. 
" fervida si nobis corda abruptumque putassent 
ingenium patres et si clamoribus," inquit, 220 

" turbari facilem mentem, non ultima rerum 
et deplorati mandassent Martis habenas. 
Stat pensata diu belli sententia : vincam 
servare invitos urgentesque ultima fata, 
nulli per Fabium e vobis cecidisse licebit. 225 

si lueis piget, et supremis esse cupido est 
nominis Ausonii, taedetque in tempore tali 
nullum clade nova claraeque fragore ruinae 
insignem fecisse locum, revocandus ab atris 
Flaminius nobis est sedibus. ille ruendi 230 

iam dudum properans signum auspiciumque dedisset. 
an nondum praeceps vicinaque fata videtis ? 
una, ut debellet, satis est victoria Poeno. 
state, viri, et sentite ducem. cum optabile tempus 
deposcet dextras, tunc ista ferocia dicta 235 

aequentur factis. non est, mihi credite, non est 
arduus in pugnas ferri labor : una reclusis 
omnes iam portis in campum effuderit hora : 
magnum illud solisque datum, quos mitis euntes 
lupiter aspexit, magnum est, ex hoste reverti. 240 

« His own and that of Hannibal. * See iv. 708 foil. 

S52 



PUNICA, VII. 212-240 

This was the land which Hannibal then ravaged and 
fiercely persecuted. He was impatient, because the 
blood on his swords was dry, while Fabius still 
foiled him. But now over-confidence and a perverse 
desire for battle grew strong in the Roman camp, 
and the men were ready to rush down from their 
position on the heights. 

Muse, make famous the man who was enabled to 
master two armies <* and to quell the fury of them 
both. Fabius spoke thus : "If the Senate had con- 
sidered me a man of hot blood and violent temper, a 
man easily upset by clamour, they would not have 
trusted me in the last resort with the control of a war 
already all but lost. My plan of campaign has long 
been weighed and is fixed : I will persist in saving 
you, though you protest against it and court your 
doom. Not one of you shall be allowed to perish, if I 
can help it. If you are tired of life, and wish to be the 
last bearers of the Roman name, and if at this crisis 
you are not content unless you have made some spot 
famous for fresh disaster and resounding defeat, then 
we must call Flaminius ^ back from the realm of 
darkness. Long ago he would have given the order 
and the signal to attack. Or are you still blind to the 
yawning precipice and imminent destruction ? One 
victory more for Hannibal, and the war is over. Stay 
where you are, my men, and learn to understand your 
leader. When a favourable moment calls for action, 
then let your deeds match your present vaunting 
words. It is not, I assure you, it is not a hard thing 
to rush to battle : when the gates of the camp are 
opened, a single hour will see you all pour out into the 
field. But it is a great thing — and none get it, unless 
Jupiter has smiled on them as they went forth — to 

353 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

fortunae Libys incumbit flatuque secundo 

fidit agens puppim. dum desinat aura, sinusque 

destituat tumidos subducto flamine ventus, 

in rem cunctari fuerit. non ulla perenni 

amplexu Fortuna fovet. iam copia quanto 245 

artior, et — niillo Tyriis certamine — quantum 

detritum est famae ! quin inter cetera nostra 

baud laude afuerit, modo qui — sed parcere dictis 

sit melius, iam vos acies et proelia et hostem 

poscitis ? o maneat, superi, fiducia talis ! 25"o 

interea, exclusa maioris sorte pericli, 

me solum, quaeso, toti me opponite bello." 

his dictis fractus furor, et rabida arma quierunt. 

ut cum turbatis placidum caput extulit undis 

Neptunus totumque videt totique videtur 255 

regnator ponto, saevi fera murmura venti 

dimittunt nullasque movent in frontibus alas ; 

tum, sensim infusa tranquilla per aequora pace, 

languentes tacito lucent in litore fluctus. 

Sensit cura sagax Poeni fraudisque veneno 260 

aggreditur mentes. pauca atque haec ruris aviti 
iugera nee multis Fabius vertebat aratris ; 
Massicus uviferis addebat nomina glebis. 
hinc pestem placitum moliri et spargere causas 
in castra ambiguas : ferro flammisque pepercit 265 



" Modesty prevents him from saying that he hopes to beat 
Hannibal in the end. Or Fabius may have meant to add, 
" if only I am not prevented by Minucius." 

^ Ancient sculptors and painters represented winds as 

354 



PUNICA, VII. 241-266 

come back after the battle. Hannibal is following up 
his good fortune, and driving his ship with confidence 
before a favouring wind. Until the breeze falls and 
the flagging wind deserts his swelling sails, to delay 
will prove our gain. Fortune never clings to any man 
with a lasting embrace. Already, how much reduced 
are their forces, and how much reputation they have 
lost ! And yet we have fought no battle against 
them. Indeed, my titles to fame may include him 
who not long ago — but it may be better to say no 
more.** Do you call for immediate action and battle 
with the foe ? I pray to Heaven that your confident 
spirit may be lasting. In the meantime, avert the 
risk of a great disaster, and set me, me only, in 
opposition to the whole war." His words tamed their 
frenzy and calmed their angry weapons. So, when 
Neptune, the ruler of the sea, raises his serene brow 
above the stormy waves, and sees the whole ocean 
and is seen by it, the angry winds stop their fierce 
howling and cease to ply the wings ^ on their fore- 
heads ; then peace and quiet spread gradually over 
the deep, and gentle waves reflect the light along the 
silent shore. 

Hannibal, watchful and shrewd, was aware of this, 
and tried to poison men's minds by a trick. Fabius 
owned a small estate inherited from his ancestors, 
which needed but few ploughs to till it ; but the 
fields grew vines that Mount Massicus made famous. 
Hence Hannibal resolved to stir up mischief and sow 
disaffection in the camp : with wicked cunning he 
refrained from fire and sword and left that land in 

winged creatures : their practice was imitated by the later 
poets ; and the winds bore wings not only on their shoulders 
and feet but also on their temples, as here. 

355 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

suspectamque loco pacem dedit arte maligna, 
ceu clandestino traheretur foedere bellum. 

Intellectus erat Fabio, Tyriosque videbat 
dictator saevire dolos ; sed non vacat aegram 
invidiam gladios inter lituosque timere 270 

et dubia morsus famae depellere pugna, 
donee reptantem, nequiquam saepe trahendo 
hue illuc castra ac scrutantem proelia Poenum, 
qua nemorosa iuga et scopulosi vertice colles 
exsurgunt, clausit sparsa ad divortia turma. 275 

hinc Laestrygoniae saxoso monte premebant 
a tergo rupes, undosis squalida terris 
hinc Literna palus. nee ferri aut militis usum 
poscebat regio. saeptos sed fraude locorum 
arta fames, poenas miserae exactura Sagunti, 280 
urgebat, finisque aderat Carthaginis armis. 

Cuncta per et terras et lati stagna profundi 
condiderat somnus, positoque labore dierum 
pacem nocte datam mortalibus orbis agebat. 
at non Sidonium curis flagrantia corda 285 

ductorem vigilesque metus haurire sinebant 
dona soporiferae noctis. nam membra cubili 
erigit et fulvi circumdat pelle leonis, 
qua super instratos proiectus gramine campi 
presserat ante toros. tunc ad tentoria fratris 290 
fert gressus vicina citos ; nee degener ille 
belligeri ritus, taurino membra iacebat 
effultus tergo et mulcebat tristia somno. 
baud procul hasta viri terrae defixa propinquae, 
et dira e summa pendebat cuspide cassis ; 295 

" People might suspect Fabius of saying to Hannibal, 
" If you spare my land, I will be slack in the conduct of the 
war." 

'' Laestrygonians were found in Sicily and also round 
356 



PUNICA, VII. 266-295 

peace ; thus men might suspect that the war was 
prolonged by a secret understanding." 

The dictator saw through the trick of the Cartha- 
ginian and perceived its danger. But he was too 
busy, amid the clashing of swords and the sound of 
bugles, to fear morbid jealousy, and to parry the 
tooth of calumny by fighting a hazardous battle. At 
last, as Hannibal crept about, shifting his camp with- 
out result and spying out any chance of battle, Fabius 
posted cavalry where cross-roads met, and shut him 
in, where there were wooded heights and steep rising 
cliffs. The high rocks of Laestrygonia ^ hemmed 
in his rear ; in front were the marshes of Liternum, 
a dismal stretch of flooded fields. The ground made 
the soldier's sword useless ; they were trapped by 
the treacherous position ; Famine, soon to claim the 
penalty for the tragedy of Saguntum, held them in 
her grip ; and the army of Carthage came near to 
destruction. 

Sleep had lulled all things to rest over the earth 
and the calm wide sea ; the labour of the day was 
done, and the world enjoyed the peace that night 
brings to all mankind. But restless anxiety and 
watchful fear prevented Hannibal from tasting the 
bounty of drowsy night. Rising from his bed, he 
put on the tawny lion-skin which had served him as 
bedding when he lay stretched upon the grassy sward. 
Then he went in haste to his brother's '^ tent which 
was pitched near his own. Mago too was no effeminate 
soldier : his limbs rested on an ox-hide, as he lay 
there soothing trouble with sleep. His spear was 
planted in the ground beside him, and from the spear- 

Formiae, a town of Latium on the borders of Campania : 
the latter place is meant here. * Mago. 

357 



SIIJUS ITALICUS 

at clipeus circa loricaque et ensis et arcus 

et telum Baliare simul tellure quiescunt. 

iuxta lecta manus, iuvenes in Marte probati ; 

et sonipes strato carpebat gramina dorso. 

ut pepulere levem intrantis vestigia somnum : 300 

" heus ! " inquit pariterque manus ad tela ferebat, 

" quae te cura vigil fessum, germane, fatigat ? " 

ac iam constiterat sociosque in caespite fusos 

incussa revocat castrorum ad munera planta, 

cum Libyae ductor : " Fabius me noctibus aegris. 

in curas Fabius nos excitat ; ilia senectus, 306 

heu fatis quae sola meis currentibus obstat ! 

cernis, ut armata circumfundare corona, 

et vallet clauses collectus miles in orbem. 

verum, age, nunc quoniam res artae, percipe porro 

quae meditata mihi. latos correpta per agros 311 

armenta assueto belli de more secuntur. 

cornibus arentes edicam innectere ramos 

sarmentique leves fronti religare maniplos, 

admotus cum fervorem disperserit ignis, 315 

ut passim exultent stimulante dolore iuvenci 

et vaga per colles cervice incendia iactent. 

tum terrore novo trepidus laxabit iniquas 

custos excubias maioraque nocte timebit. 

si cordi consulta (moras extrema recusant) 320 

accingamur," ait. gemino tentoria gressu 

inde petunt. ingens clipeo cervice reposta 

inter equos interque viros interque iacebat 

capta manu spolia et rorantia caede Maraxes 

ac dirum, in somno ceu bella capesseret, amens 325 

clamorem tum forte dabat dextraque tremente 

« See note to 1.314. 
358 



PUNICA, VII. 296-326 

point his dreadful helmet hung down ; and his shield 
and breastplate, his sword and bow and Balearic 
sling " lay on the ground beside him. A chosen band 
of veteran soldiers attended him ; and his war-horse 
wore the saddle as it grazed. When his light slumber 
was broken by the sound of entering footsteps, " Ha, 
brother ! " he cried, and at the same time reached 
out for his weapons ; " what sleepless anxiety forbids 
you to rest your weary limbs ? " Already he stood 
erect, and a stamp of his foot summoned to attention 
his men who lay stretched upon the sward, when 
Hannibal thus began : " It is Fabius who breaks my 
rest, Fabius who excites my fears ; that old man, 
alas, alone withstands the tide of my fortunes. You 
see how you are surrounded by a ring of warriors, 
trapped and encircled by the army he has placed 
there. But, come, since we are in this strait, hear 
further a plan I have devised. The cattle we have 
seized up and down the land are with us now, after 
the custom of war. I shall order dry branches to be 
tied to their horns, and bundles of light faggots 
to be fixed to their foreheads ; then, when fire is 
applied and spreads its heat, the beasts, driven mad 
by pain, will run wild and spread a blaze over the 
hills with tossing heads. Then our jailers, surprised 
and alarmed, will relax their strict guard, and will 
fear worse dangers in the darkness. If my plan 
pleases you, let us set to work — the crisis forbids 
delay." Together they went at once to the camp. 
There lay huge Maraxes, his head pillowed on his 
shield ; around him were horses and men and blood- 
dripping spoils that he had taken in battle ; and, 
as if fighting in dreams, he uttered just then a frantic 
cry, while his shaking hand felt eagerly for his 

359 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

arma toro et notum quaerebat fervidus ensem. 
huic Mago, inversa quatiens ut dispulit hasta 
bellantem somnum : " tenebris, fortissime ductor, 
iras compesce atque in lucem proelia differ. 330 

ad fraudem occultamque fugam tutosque receptus 
nunc nocte utendum est. arentes nectere frondes 
cornibus et latis accensa immittere silvis 
armenta, oppositi reserent quo claustra manipli, 
germanus parat atque obsessa evellere castra. 335 
emergamus, et hie Fabio persuadeat astus, 
non certare dolis." nihil hinc cunctante sed acris 
incepti laeto iuvene, ad tentoria Acherrae 
festinant ; cui parea quies minimumque soporis, 
nee notum somno noctes aequare ; feroci 340 

pervigil inservibat equo fessumque levabat 
tractando et frenis ora exagitata fovebat. 
at socii renovant tela arentemque cruorem 
ferro detergent et dant mucronibus iras. 
quid fortuna loci poscat, quid tempus, et ipsi 345 

quaenam agitent, pandunt et coeptis ire ministrum 
haud segnem hortantur. discurrit tessera castris ; 
intentique decent, quae sint properanda, monentque 
quisque suos ; instat trepidis stimulatque ruentes 
navus abire timor, dum caeca silentia dumque 350 
maiores umbrae, rapida iam subdita peste 
virgulta atque altis surgunt e cornibus ignes. 
hie vero ut, gliscente malo et quassantibus aegra 
armentis capita, adiutae pinguescere flammae 
coepere, et vincens fumos erumpere vertex : 355 

360 



PUNICA, VII. 327-355 

good sword and the weapons on his bed. With a 
blow from the butt of his spear Mago awoke him from 
his unpeaceful slumber. " Control your ardour in 
the hours of darkness, brave captain," he said, " and 
postpone your fighting till day comes. We must 
make use of to-night for a stratagem, for a secret 
flight and safe retreat. My brother intends to fix 
dry branches to the horns of the cattle and to turn 
them loose when lighted all through the woods, that 
the foe may relax his grasp ; and he hopes thus to 
wrench the beleaguered army from their clutches. 
Let us make our way out, and teach Fabius that he 
is no match for us in cunning." Rejoicing in this 
bold stroke, the warrior tarried not. The pair next 
hastened to the quarters of Acherras, a man content 
with brief slumbers who never slept the whole night 
through. He was awake now and attending to a 
mettlesome steed, rubbing him down after exercise 
and bathing the mouth which the bit had chafed. 
His men were furbishing their weapons, washing the 
dry blood from the steel and sharpening their swords. 
The pair explained their business and the require- 
ments of the place and time, and bade Acherras go 
with speed and further the plan. The word was 
passed round through the camp ; the captains zeal- 
ously instructed their men and explained the work 
to be done ; fear beset them and quickened their 
pace, urging them to depart in the silence and dark- 
ness, before the shadow of night grew lighter. The 
brushwood was quickly kindled, and fire rose high 
from the horns of the cattle. But when the mischief 
spread and the beasts tossed their tortured heads, the 
flames, so helped, grew thicker, and their crest burst 
upwards through the smoke and conquered it. All 

861 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

per coUes dumosque (lues agit atra) per altos 

saxosi scopulos montis lymphata feruntur 

corpora anhela bourn, atque obsessis naribus igni 

luctantur frustra rabidi mugire iuvenci. 

per iuga, per valles errat Vulcania pestis, 360 

nusquam stante malo ; vicinaque litora fulgent. 

quam multa, afRxus caelo sub nocte serena, 

fluctibus e mediis sulcator navita ponti 

astra videt ; quam multa videt, fervoribus atris 

cum Calabros urunt ad pinguia pabula saltus, 365 

vertice Gargani residens incendia pastor. 

At facie subita volitantum montibus altis 
flammarum, quis tunc cecidit custodia sorti, 
horrere atque ipsos, nuUo spargente, vagari 
credere et indomitos pasci sub collibus ignes. 370 
caelone exciderint, et magna fulmina dextra 
torserit Omnipotens, an caecis rupta cavernis 
fuderit egestas accenso sulphure flammas 
infelix tellus, media in formidine quaerunt. 
iamque abeunt ; faucesque viae citus occupat armis 
Poenus et in patulos exultans emicat agros. 376 , 

hue tamen usque vigil processerat arte regendi J 

dictator Trebiam et Tusci post stagna profundi, ^ 

esset ut Hannibali Fabium Romanaque tela 
evasisse satis, quin et vestigia pulsi 380 

et gressus premeret castris, ni sacra vocarent 
ad patrios veneranda deos. tum, versus ad urbem, 
alloquitur iuvenem, cui mos tramittere signa 
et belli summam primasque iubebat habenas, 

" See note to iv. 561. * Lake Trasimene. 

" As the head of the Fabian family, he was obliged to offer 
sacrifice yearly to Diana on the Quirinal Hill. 

362 



m 



PUNICA, VII. 356-384 



over the hills and thickets, over the high cliffs of 
the rocky mountain, the maddened cattle rushed on 
panting, driven by that dreadful scourge ; and the 
steers, their nostrils stopped by the fire, tried in vain 
to bellow. Nothing can check the destroying fire : 
it runs from place to place over hill and valley ; and 
the sea, not far away, reflects it. It was like the 
multitude of stars which the seaman beholds from 
his ship as he ploughs the deep on a clear night, with 
his gaze fixed upon the sky ; or like the multitude 
of fires that the shepherd sees from his seat on Mount 
Garganus," when the uplands of Calabria are burnt 
and blackened, to improve the pasture. 

But the Roman sentries whose turn it was to be on 
guard were horror-struck by the sudden sight of flames 
moving about on the mountain- tops : they believed that 
no hand of man had sent forth fire, but that it spreadof 
itself and flourished unrestrained beneath the hills. 
" Did it fall from heaven ? " they asked in their fear; 
" had the Almighty launched thunderbolts with his 
strong arm ? or had the vexed earth burst asunder and 
sent forth flames, vomited from hidden hollows with 
burning sulphur ? " Quickly they fled ; and the Cartha- 
<::inian army made haste to seize the narrow pass and 
dashed forth triumphant into the open country. Yet 
by his skilful management the watchful Dictator had 
succeeded so far, that Hannibal, even after the Trebia 
and the Tuscan lake,^ was content now to have escaped 
Fabius and the Roman attack. Indeed Fabius would 
have followed with his army the retreating foe, had 
he not been summoned to pay worship to the gods 
of his family. ° As he turned his face to Rome, he 
addressed the younger man, who took over, as custom 
required, the colours and the supreme command, and 

363 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

atque his praeformat dictis fingitque monendo : 385 
" si factis nondum, Minuci, te cauta probare 
erudiit Fortuna meis, nee dueere verba 
ad verum decus ac pravis arcere valebunt. 
vidisti clausum Hannibalem ; nil miles et alae 
iuvere aut densis legio conferta maniplis. 390 

testor te, solus clausi, nee deinde morabor. 
dis sine me libare dapem et sollemnia ferre. 
hunc iterum atque iterum vinctum vel montibus altis 
amnibus aut rapidis — modo pugna absistite — tradam. 
interea (crede experto, non fallimus) aegris 395 

nil movisse salus rebus, sit gloria multis 
et placeat, quippe egregium, prosternere ferro 
hostem ; sed Fabio sit vos servasse triumphus. 
plena tibi castra atque intactus vulnere miles 
creditur ; hos nobis (erit haec tibi gloria) redde. 400 
iam cernes Libycum huic vallo assultare leonem, 
iam praedas ofFerre tibi, iam vertere terga, 
respectantem adeo atque iras cum fraude coquentem. 
claude, oro, castra et cunctas spes eripe pugnae. 
haec monuisse satis ; sed si compescere corda 405 
non datur oranti, magno te iure pioque 
dictator capere arma veto." sic castra relinquens 
vallarat monitis ac se referebat ad urbem. 

Ecce autem flatu classis Phoenissa secundo 
litora Caietae Laestrygoniosque recessus 410 

« M. Minucius Rufus was Master of the Knights to the 
Dictator, and second in command of the army. 

^ A seaport town on the borders of Latium and Campania: 
for the Laestrygonians see note to 1. 276. 
364 




PUNICA, VII. 385-410 

spoke thus, instructing him beforehand and schooling 
him with warning : " Minucius," if you have not yet 
learned from my actions to approve caution, then 
words also will be too weak to attract you to true 
glory and to guard you from mistakes. You have 
seen Hannibal entrapped : his footmen and his horse- 
men and his army with its serried ranks were all 
useless. I alone entrapped him, I call you to witness. 
Nor shall I be slow to do it again. Suffer me to make 
a feast for the gods and offer the customary sacrifices. 
Again and again — do you but refrain from battle — I 
shall show you Hannibal penned in by lofty moun- 
tains or rapid rivers. For the present (take the 
word of experience, I speak the truth) inaction is 
safety in peril. Let many generals feel joy and 
pride when they have laid low the enemy in battle 
— and it is indeed a glorious thing ; but let Fabius 
regard this as his height of glory, that he has 
saved the lives of you all. I hand over to you an 
undepleted force and unwounded men ; give them 
back to me unharmed, and that shall be your boast. 
Soon you will see the Libyan lion charging our ram- 
parts ; at one time he will offer you spoil, and at 
another he will retreat, looking ever backwards and 
nursing wrath in his guileful heart. Shut the gates 
of the camp, I entreat you, and rob him of all hope 
of fighting. This is sufficient warning ; but, if my 
entreaties cannot restrain your ardour, then by my 
high office of dictator and by my duty I forbid you 
to take up arms." Thus he defended the camp by 
his warnings ere he left it and returned to Rome. 

But now, before a favouring wind, Carthaginian 

ships were seen ploughing with their beaks the sea by 

the shore of Caieta ^ and the bay of the Laestry- 

voL. I N 365 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sulcabat rostris portusque intrarat apertos, 

ac totus multo spumabat remige pontus, 

cum trepidae fremitu vitreis e sedibus antri 

aequoreae pelago simul emersere sorores 

ac possessa vident infestis litora proris. 415 

turn magno perculsa metu Nereia turba 

attonitae propere refluunt ad limina nota, 

Teleboum medio surgunt qua regna profundo 

pumiceaeque procul sedes. immanis in antro 

conditur abrupto Proteus ac spumea late 420 

cautibus obiectis reiectat caerula vates. 

is postquam (sat gnarus enim rerumque metusque) 

per varias lusit formas et terruit atri 

serpentis squamis horrendaque sibila torsit, 

aut fremuit torvo mutatus membra leone : 425 

" dicite," ait, " quae causa viae ? quisve ora repente 

pervasit pallor ? cur scire futura libido ? " 

Ad quae Cymodoce, Nympharum maxima natu 
Italidum : " nosti nostros, praesage, timores. 
quid Tyriae classes ereptaque litora nobis 430 

portendunt ? num migrantur Rhoeteia regna 
in Libyam superis ? aut hos Sarranus habebit 
navita iam portus ? patria num sede fugatae 
Atlantem et Calpen extrema habitabimus antra ? " 

Tunc sic, evolvens repetita exordia, retro 435 

incipit ambiguus vates reseratque futura : 
" Laomedonteus Phrygia cum sedit in Ida 
pastor et, errantes dumosa per avia tauros 
arguta revocans ad roscida pascua canna, 

* Nereids. 

'' The island, of Capri : the residence of Proteus, the 
prophet and god of the sea, is generally placed elsewhere by 
the poets. 

" The epithet perhaps refers to the power of Proteus to 
change his shape. 
366 



PUNICA, VII. 411-439 



and the number of their oarsmen churned all the sea 
to foam. The noise startled the Sea Sisters,** and they 
rose up together from the crystal seats of their grotto, 
and saw the shore occupied by hostile vessels. Then 
in great fear and consternation the train of Nereids 
swam off quickly to a familiar haunt, where the realm 
of the Teleboans ^ rises far off in mid-sea, and there 
are rocky caves. Proteus, the monstrous " seer, hides 
here in his cavern among the rocks, and keeps the 
foaming deep at a distance by a barrier of cliffs. He 
knew well the cause of their alarm ; but first he 
eluded them by taking various shapes : he frightened 
them in the likeness of a black and scaly snake, and 
hissed horribly ; again he changed into a fierce Hon 
and roared. At last he spoke : " Tell me the cause 
of your coming, and why have your faces suddenly 
turned pale ? Why seek ye to know the future ? " 

Cymodoce replied, the eldest of the Italian nymphs: 
" Prophet," she said, " you know why we are afraid 
What mean these ships of Carthage that have robbec 
us of our shore ? Are the gods removing the empire 
of Rome ** to Libya ? Or shall the seamen of Tyre 
possess these harbours in future ? Must we leave 
our native seat and dwell in the caves of uttermost 
Atlas and Calpe ? " 

Then the prophet, the deity of many forms, thus 
began to reveal the future, beginning his tale far back 
in the distant past. " When the shepherd son * of 
Laomedon sat on Phrygian Ida, and his sweet piping 
recalled to the dewy pastures his bulls that strayed 

<* Lit. " of Rhoeteum " : this was a promontory near Troy : 
see note to ii. 51, 
• Paris. 

367 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

audivit sacrae lectus certamina formae, 440 

turn matris currus niveos agitabat olores, 

tempora sollicitus litis servasse, Cupido. 

parvulus ex humero gorytos et aureus arcus 

fulgebat, nutuque vetans trepidare parentem, 

monstrabat gravidam telis se ferre pharetram. 445 

ast alius nivea comebat fronte capillos, 

purpureos alius vestis religabat amictus, 

cum sic suspirans roseo Venus ore decoros 

alloquitur natos : * testis certissima vestrae 

ecce dies pietatis adest. quis credere salvis 450 

hoc ausit vobis ? de forma atque ore (quid ultra 

iam superest rerum ?) certat Venus, omnia parvis 

si mea tela dedi blando medicata veneno, 

si vester, caelo ac terris qui foedera sancit, 

stat supplex, cum vultis, avus : victoria nostra 455 

Cypron Idumaeas referat de Pallade palmas, 

de lunone Paphos centum mihi fumet in aris.' 

dumque haec aligeris instat Cytherea, sonabat 

omne nemus gradiente dea. nam bellica virgo, 

aegide deposita atque assuetum casside crinem 460 

involvi tunc compta tamen pacemque serenis 

condiscens oculis, ibat lucoque ferebat 

praedicto sacrae vestigia concita plantae. 

parte alia intrabat iussis Saturnia silvis, 

iudicium Phrygis et fastus pastoris et Iden 465 

post fratris latura toros. postrema nitenti 

afFulsit vultu ridens Venus, omnia circa 

et nemora et penitus frondosis rupibus antra 



" Jupiter. 

" The birthplace of Venus : Paphos in Cyprus was one of 
the seats of her worship. For Idume see note to iii. 600. 

" Pallas. "* Juno. 

368 



PUNICA, VII. 440-468 

through pathless thickets, he was chosen to witness 
the contest of the goddesses for the prize of beauty. 
Then a Cupid drove the snow-white swans harnessed 
to his mother's car, and feared to be too late for the 
contest. A tiny quiver and a golden bow glittered at 
his shoulder, and he signed to his mother to have no 
fear, and showed her the quiver that he carried loaded 
with arrows. Another Cupid combed the tresses on 
her snow-white brow, and a third put the girdle round 
the folds of her purple robe. Then Venus sighed, and 
her rosy lips thus addressed her pretty children : ' See, 
the day has come that will prove beyond all doubt 
your love for your mother. Who would dare to 
believe, that while you still live, the claim of Venus 
to the prize for beauty is contested ? What worse 
remains behind ? If I gave to my children all my 
arrows steeped in delicious poison — if your grandsire," 
the Lawgiver of heaven and earth, stands a suppliant 
before you when so you please, then let my triumph 
bear back to Cyprus ^ the palm of Edom won from 
Pallas, and let the hundred altars of Paphos smoke for 
my conquest of Juno.' And, while Cytherea thus 
charged her winged children, all the grove re-echoed 
the footsteps of a goddess. For now came the Warrior 
Maid.*' She had laid aside her aegis ; the hair which 
the helmet was wont to hide was braided now, and 
her clear eyes wore a studied look of peace ; and her 
sacred feet bore her quickly to the appointed grove. 
From another quarter obedient to the call came the 
daughter of Saturn ^ ; though wedded to her brother, 
Jupiter, she must endure to be judged and rejected 
by the Trojan shepherd on Mount Ida. Last came 
Venus with smiling face, glorious in her beauty. All 
tlie surrounding groves and all the hollows of the 

369 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

spirantem sacro traxerunt vertice odorem. 

nee iudex sedisse valet ; fessique nitoris 470 

luce cadunt oculi, ac metuit dubitasse videri. 

sed victae fera bella deae vexere per aequor, 

atque excisa suo pariter cum iudice Troia. 

turn plus Aeneas, terris iactatus et undis, 

Dardanios Itala posuit tellure penates. 475 

dum cete ponto innabunt, dum sidera caelo 

lucebunt, dum sol Indo se litore toilet, 

hie regna et nullae regnis per saecula metae. 

at vos, o natae, currit dum immobile filum, 

Hadriaci fugite infaustas Sasonis harenas. 480 

sanguineis tumidus ponto miscebitur undis 

Aufidus et rubros impellet in aequora fluctus ; 

damnatoque deum quondam per carmina campo 

Aetolae rursus Teucris pugnabitis umbrae. 

Punica Romuleos quatient mox spicula muros, 485 

multaque Hasdrubalis fulgebit strage Metaurus. 

hinc ille in furto genitus patruique piabit 

idem ultor patrisque necem ; tum litus Elissae 

implebit flammis avelletque Itala Poenum 

viscera torrentem et propriis superabit in oris. 490 

huic Carthago armis, huic Africa nomine cedet. 

hie dabit ex sese, qui tertia bella fatiget 

et cinerem Libyae ferat in Capitolia victor." 

*• The prophet foretells the battle of Cannae : the Roman 
blood shed there will flow down the river Aufidus into the 
sea : Saso is an island on the coast of Epirus. 

^ The Sibyl of Cumae : cp. ix. 57. 

* See note to i. 125. ** Romans. 

« Scipio Africanus, the conqueror of Hannibal: see xiii. 
615 foil. 

^ The Scipio brothers both fell in Spain in 212 b.c. 

" He assumed the name of Africanus. 

'* In 146 B.C. P. Cornelius Scipio Africanus Aemilianus 
S70 



I 



PUNICA, VII. 469-493 



leaf-clad heights drank in deeply the fragrance that 
breathed from that divine head. The judge could 
not sit still ; his eyes, dazzled by the brilliance of her 
beauty, sank to the ground ; and he feared lest he 
might seem ever to have been in doubt. But the 
defeated goddesses brought a fierce army across the 
sea, and Troy was demolished together with the 
Trojan who had judged them. Then good Aeneas, 
after much suffering on land and sea, established the 
gods of Troy on the soil of Italy. So long as sea- 
monsters shall svnm the deep and stars shine in the 
sky and the sun rise on the Indian shore, Rome shall 
rule, and there shall be no end to her rule throughout 
the ages. But you, my daughters, while the thread 
of Fate that none may change still runs on, avoid the 
ill-omened sands of Saso " in the Adriatic sea. For 
Aufidus will fall into that sea, his stream swollen with 
gore, and will pour incarnadined waters into the 
main ; and on a field condemned long ago by the 
oracles of Heaven,^ the ghosts of Aetolia '^ shall fight 
the Trojans'* once more. Later the missiles of Car- 
thage shall batter the walls of Romulus, and the 
Metaurus shall be famous for the utter defeat of 
Hasdrubal. Next the offspring of stolen love * shall 
duly avenge his father and his uncle ^ as well ; then 
he shall spread fire over the coast of Dido, and tear 
Hannibal away from the vitals of Italy on which he is 
preying, and defeat him in his own country. To him 
Carthage shall surrender her arms, and Africa her 
name.* And his son's son shall finish a third war 
with victory and bring back the ashes of Libya to the 
Capitol."'' 

destroyed Carthage and ended the Third Punic War: he 
was, by adoption, the grandson of the first Afiicanus. 

371 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Quae dum arcana deum vates evolvit in antro, 
iam monita et Fabium bellique equitumque magister 
exuerat mente ac praeceps tendebat in hostem. 496 
pascere nee Poenus pravum ae nutrire furorem 
deerat et, ut parvo maiora ad proelia damno 
eliceret, dabat interdum simulantia terga. 
non aliter, quam qui sparsa per stagna profundi 500 
evocat e liquidis piscem penetralibus esca, 
cumque levem summa vidit iam nare sub unda, 
ducit sinuato captivum ad litora lino. 

Fama furit versos hostes, Poenumque salutem 
invenisse fuga ; liceat si vincere, finem 505 

promitti cladum ; sed enim dicione carere 
virtutem, et poenas vincentibus esse repostas. 
clausurum iam castra ducem rursusque referri 
vaginae iussurum enses, reddatur in armis 
ut ratio, et purget miles, cur vicerit hostem. 510 

haec vulgus ; necnon patrum Saturnia mentes 
invidiae stimulo fodit et popularibus auris. 
tunc indigna fide censent optandaque Poeno, 
quae mox haud parvo luerent damnata periclo. 

Dividitur miles, Fabioque equitumque magistro 
imperia aequantur geminis. cernebat, et expers 516 
irarum senior, magnas ne penderet alti 
erroris poenas patria inconsulta, timebat. 
ac turn, multa putans secum, ut remeavit ab urbe, 
partitus socias vires, vicina propinquis 520 



" Juno. 
372 



PUNICA, VII. 494-520 

While the prophet in his grotto revealed these 
secret things of the gods, the Master of the Knights 
and commander of the army had put from his mind 
the warnings of Fabius, and was pressing forward 
against the enemy. And Hannibal was not slow to 
feed and encourage this folly : he feigned at times to 
retreat, that by a trifling loss he might tempt Minu- 
cius to a pitched battle. So the fisherman tempts a 
fish forth from the watery depths by scattering bait 
in the pools, and then, when he sees his nimble prey 
swimming close to the surface, draws it captive to the 
shore in his bellying net. 

Wild rumours ran — that the enemy was routed, and 
Hannibal had saved himself by flight; an end of 
defeats was certain, if the Romans were allowed to 
conquer ; but the brave had no authority, and punish- 
ment was in store for the victorious. Soon would 
Fabius keep the army in camp and order the sword 
to be sheathed once more, that the warrior might be 
called to account and clear himself of the crime of con- 
quering. Thus the people murmured ; and even the 
hearts of the Senators were stirred up by the daughter 
of Saturn <» with the sting of jealousy and with the 
desire for popular favour. Then they passed a decree 
unworthy of belief, a decree that Hannibal might 
have prayed for ; they were soon to repent it and 
to pay for it with great disaster. 

The army was divided, and the Master of the 
Knights was given equal powers with the Dictator. 
The older man looked on without resentment ; but he 
feared that the ill-advised government might pay a 
heavy penalty for their grievous error. And then, 
revolving many things in his breast, he returned from 
Rome and, after dividing the forces with Minucius, 

VOL. r N 2 878 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

signa iugis locat et specula sublimis ab alta 
non Romana minus servat, quam Punica castra. 
nee mora ; disiecto Minuci vecordia vallo 
perdendi simul et pereundi ardebat amore. 

Quem postquam rapidum vidit procedere castris 
hinc Libys, hinc Fabius, simul accendere sagaces 526 
in subitum curas. propere capere arma maniplis 
edicit vallique tenet munimine turmas 
Ausonius ; torquet totas in proelia vires 
Poenorum ductor propellitque agmina voce : 530 

" dum dictator abest, rape, miles, tempora pugnae. 
non sperata diu piano certamina campo 
ofFert ecce deus. quoniam data copia, longum 
detergete situm ferro multoque cruore 
exsatiate, viri, plenos rubiginis enses." 535 

Atque ea Cunctator pensabat ab aggere valli, 
perlustrans campos oculis, tantoque periclo 
discere, quinam esset Fabius, te, Roma, dolebat. 
cui natus, iuncta arma ferens : " dabit improbus,'* 

inquit, 
** quas dignum est, poenas ; qui per suffragia caeca 
invasit nostros haec ad discrimina fasces. 541 

insanae spectate tribus ! pro lubrica rostra 
et vanis fora laeta viris ! nunc munera Martis 
aequent imperio et solem concedere nocti 
sciscant imbelles : magna mercede piabunt 545 

erroris rabiem et nostrum violasse parentem." 
tum senior, quatiens hastam lacrimisque coortis : 

* The nickname which Fabius made a title of honour. 

''It was a meeting of the plebs, voting by tribes, which 
carried the proposal that Minucius should have equal 
authority with Fabius. 

" The Rostra (the orators' platform) stood in the market- 
place. 
374 



w 



PUNICA, VII. 621-547 

encamped on a neighbouring height, where from his 
lofty watch-tower he kept an eye on the Roman army 
as much as on the army of Hannibal. Minucius in 
his folly at once dismantled the rampart of his 
camp ; he was burning with eagerness to destroy 
and, at the same time, to be destroyed. 

When Hannibal from one point and Fabius from 
another saw him hurrying forth from his camp, each 
instantly conceived wise plans to meet the emergency. 
The Roman general ordered his foot-soldiers to arm 
with speed, and kept his cavalry behind the protec- 
tion of the ramparts, while Hannibal threw every 
man into the fighting-line, and called on them thus 
to go forward : " Soldiers, seize the opportunity for 
battle, while Fabius is absent. See ! Heaven offers 
us the chance so long denied of fighting on the open 
plain. Since the opportunity is given, cleanse the 
steel from the mould of long disuse, my men, and glut 
your rusty swords with much bloodshed." 

The Delayer " surveyed the country from the high 
rampart, and weighed these things in his heart. He 
was grieved that Rome should learn the value of a 
Fabius at so great a cost. His son who served at his 
side said : " That rash man will suffer as he deserves 
— the man who by the votes of the blind populace 
usurped our authority and has brought things to this 
pass. Look on now, ye senseless Tribes ! ^ Shame 
on the rhetoric that leads to ruin, and on the market- 
place " that approves worthless men ! Let them now, 
in their ignorance of war, divide the command over 
the army and vote that light shall give place to 
darkness ! Dearly shall they pay for their mad mis- 
take, and for their insult to my father." As the old 
man answered him, he shook his spear, and the tears 

875 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

" sanguine Poenorum, iuvenis, tarn tristia dicta 
sunt abolenda tibi. patiarne ante ora manusque 
civem deleri nostras ? aut vincere Poenum, 550 

me spectante, sinam ? non aequavisse minorem 
solventur culpa, si sunt mihi talia cordi ? 
iamque hoc, ne dubites, longaevi, nate, parentis 
accipe et aeterno fixum sub pectore serva : 
succensere nefas patriae ; nee foedior ulla 555 

culpa sub extremas fertur mortalibus umbras, 
sic docuere senes. quantus qualisque fuisti, 
cum pulsus lare et extorris Capitolia curru 
intrares exul ! tibi corpora caesa, Camille, 
damnata quot sunt dextra ! pacata fuissent 560 

ni consulta viro mensque impenetrabilis irae, 
mutassentque solum sceptris Aeneia regna, 
nullaque nunc stares terrarum vertice, Roma, 
pone iras, o nate, meas. socia arma feramus 
et celeremus opem." iamque intermixta sonabant 
classica, procursusque viros colliserat acer. 566 

Primus claustra manu portae dictator et altos 
disiecit postes rupitque in proelia cursum. 
non graviore movent venti certamina mole 
Odrysius Boreas et Syrtim tollere pollens 570 

Africus : obnixi cum bella furentia torquent, 
distraxere fretum ac diversa ad litora volvunt 
aequor quisque suum ; sequitur stridente procella 
nunc hue, nunc illuc, raptum mare et intonat undis. 

<» Camillus, the hero of his age, returned from exile to 
inflict a crushing defeat upon the Gauls who had burnt 
Rome in 390 b.c. When the Romans planned to migrate 
from the burnt city to Veii, his eloquence prevented the 
design. 

'' See note to i. 408. Africus is the S.W. wind, 
376 



PUNICA, VII. 548-574 

rose to his eyes : " My son, you must wash away that 
harsh speech in Punic blood. Shall I suffer my 
countryman to be slain before my eyes, and not move 
a hand, or allow Hannibal to conquer while I look 
on ? If such were my feeling, will not those who set 
me on a level with my subordinate be acquitted of 
all blame ? And now, my son, take this for certain 
from your aged father, and keep it ever engraved 
upon your heart : to harbour wrath against your 
country is a sin ; and no more heinous crime can mortal 
man carry down to the shades below. Such was the 
doctrine of our fathers. How great and noble was 
Camillus,^ when, exiled from home and country, he 
returned from banishment to drive his triumphal 
car to the Capitol ! How many enemies were slain 
by that right hand which Romans had condemned ! 
But for the placid wisdom of Camillus and his refusal 
to harbour wrath, the realm of Aeneas would have 
changed its seat of empire," and Rome would not 
stand now at the summit of the world. Be not angry 
for your father's sake, my son ; but let us fight side 
by side and make haste to help." Already the 
trumpets were sounding together with the trumpets 
of the foe ; and men had charged forward, to clash 
in conflict. 

The Dictator was the foremost man to knock down 
the bars and tall gate-posts of the camp, and to rush 
into the fray. No mightier are the winds when they 
war against one another, Boreas from Thrace and 
Africus that has power to lift the Syrtis ^ ; when they 
rage in stubborn conflict, they divide the sea and each 
rolls his own part to an opposite shore ; as the tempest 
howls, the tide is swept after it hither and thither, and 
the waves thunder. No possible achievement — not 

377 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

haud prorsus daret ullus honos tellusque subacta 575 
Phoenicum et Carthago ruens, iniuria quantum 
orta ex invidia decoris tulit ; omnia namque 
dura simul devicta viro, metus, Hannibal, irae, 
invidia, atque una fama et fortuna subactae. 

Poenus ab excelso rapidos decurrere vallo 580 

ut vidit, tremuere irae, ceciditque repente 
cum gemitu spes haud dubiae praesumpta ruinae ; 
quippe aciem denso circumvallaverat orbe, 
hausurus clausos conieetis undique tehs. 
atque hie Dardanius pravo certamine ductor 585 

iam Styga et aeternas intrarat mente tenebras 
(nam Fabium auxihumque viri sperare pudebat) 
cum senior, gemino complexus proelia cornu, 
ulteriore ligat Poenorum terga corona 
et modo claudentes aciem nunc, extima cingens, 590 
clausos ipse tenet, maiorem surgere in arma 
maioremque dedit cerni Tirynthius : altae 
scintillant cristae et, mirum, velocibus ingens 
per subitum membris venit vigor ; ingerit hastas 
aversumque premit telorum nubibus hostem. 595 

qualis post iuvenem, nondum subeunte senecta, 
rector erat Pylius bellis aetate secunda. 

Inde ruens Thurin et Buten et Narin et Arsen 
dat leto fisumque manus conferre Mahalcen, 
cui decus insigne et quaesitum cuspide nomen. 600 
turn Garadum largumque comae prosternit Adherben 
et geminas acies superantem vertice Thulin, 
qui summas alto prensabat in aggere pinnas. 



• i.e. Minucius had given himself up for lost. 
*• Nestor, the aged hero of the Homeric epic. 

S78 




PUNICA, VII. 575-603 

the conquest of Africa and the fall of Carthage — could 
confer on Fabius such glory as he reaped from the 
wrong done him by envy ; for he conquered at the 
same time every obstacle — danger and Hannibal, 
resentment and jealousy — and he trod underfoot 
calumny and Fortune together. 

When Hannibal saw the Romans rushing down from 
their high rampart, his ardour was shaken : he 
groaned, and his sanguine hopes of a crushing victory 
sank in a moment. For he had surrounded the army 
of Minucius with a serried ring of soldiers and hoped 
to destroy them by a shower of missiles from every 
side. And now the Roman general in that ill-judged 
battle had already in thought crossed the Styx to the 
place of eternal darkness " — for he was ashamed to 
look to Fabius for help — when the Dictator, surround- 
ing the battle-field with his two flanks, hemmed in 
the Carthaginian rear with an outer circle, and now, 
from his outside position, blockaded those who had 
lately been blockaders. By grace of Hercules he 
seemed to rise higher as he fought and to grow in 
stature. The plume of his helmet flashed on high ; 
and his frame was suddenly endued with marvellous 
strength and activity ; he hurled spear after spear 
and assailed the enemy in their rear with clouds of 
darts. Thus the King of Pylus ^ fought in his Second 
stage of life, when youth was gone and old age not 
yet come. 

On he rushed and slew Thuris and Butes, Naris and 
Arses, and Mahalces who had dared to face him, a 
famous warrior who had gained glory by his spear. 
Then he laid low Garadus and Adherbes of the long 
hair, and Thulis who towered above both armies and 
could grasp the ^opmost battlements on a lofty wall. 

379 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

eminus hos : gladio Sapharum gladioque Monaesum 
et Morinum pugnas aeris stridore cientem, 605 

dexteriore gena cui sedit letifer ictus, 
perque tubam fixae decurrens vulnere malae, 
extremo fluxit propulsus murmure sanguis, 
proximus huic iaculo Nasamonius occidit Idmon. 
namque super tepido lapsantem sanguine et aegra 
lubrica nitentem nequicquam evadere planta 611 

impacto prosternit equo trepideque levantem 
membra afflicta solo pressa violentius hasta 
implicuit terrae telumque in caede reliquit. 
haeret humi cornus motu tremefaeta iacentis 615 
et campo servat mandatum affixa cadaver. 
Necnon exemplo laudis furiata iuventus, 
Sullaeque Crassique simul iunctusque Metello 
Furnius ac melior dextrae Torquatus, inibant 
proelia et unanimi vel morte emisse volebant 620 
spectari Fabio. miser hinc vestigia retro 
dum rapit et molem subducto corpore vitat 
intorti Bibulus saxi atque in terga refertur, 
strage super lapsus socium, qua fibula morsus 
loricae crebro laxata resolverat ictu, 625 

accepit lateri penitusque in viscera adegit, 
exstabat fixo quod forte cadavere, ferrum. 
heu sortem necis ! evasit Garamantica tela 
Marmaridumque manus, ut inerti cuspide fusus 
occideret, telo non in sua vulnera misso. 630 

volvitur exanimis, turpatque decora iuventa 
380 



PUNICA, VII. 604-631 

These he slew from a distance ; and his sword ac- 
counted for Sapharus and Monaesus, and for Morinus, 
as he stirred the hearts of the combatants with the 
trumpet's blare ; the fatal blow struck his right cheek, 
and the blood, running down through the trumpet 
from the wound in his face, flowed forth, expelled by 
his dying breath. Close by him fell Idmon, a Nasa- 
monian, slain by a javelin. For as he slipped on the 
warm blood and was vainly striving to plant his un- 
steady feet on firm ground, the Dictator's horse struck 
him down ; and, when he tried in haste to lift his 
bruised limbs from the ground, Fabius pinned him to 
the earth by a strong thrust of his spear and left the 
weapon in the deadly wound. Sticking in the ground, 
the spear quivered as the dying man moved, and 
kept guard on the plain over the corpse consigned 
to it. 

This glorious example inflamed the younger men : 
a Sulla and a Crassus with him, Furnius and his 
comrade Metellus, and Torquatus, a more practised 
warrior, entered the battle ; and all alike were willing 
even to die, if they might have the eyes of Fabius 
upon them. Unhappy Bibulus was stepping quickly 
backwards and swerving aside, to elude a huge stone 
hurled at him, when he stumbled on a heap of Roman 
corpses in his movement to the rear ; and an iron 
point, which happened to project from a dead body, 
entered his side where many a blow had loosened the 
clasps of the buckle on his corslet ; and his fall drove 
the weapon home to his vitals. Alas, for so strange 
a death ! He was spared by the missiles of the Gara- 
mantes and the swords of the Marmaridae, in order to 
be laid low by a senseless weapon — a weapon aimed 
at a different victim. Down he fell in death ; a 

381 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ora novus pallor ; membris dimissa solutis 
arma fluunt, erratque niger per lumina somnus. 

Venerat ad bellum Tyria Sidone, nepotum 
excitus prece, et auxilio socia arma ferebat, 635 

Eoa tumidus pharetrati militis ala, 
gens Cadmi, Cleadas ; fulva cui plurima passim 
casside et aurato fulgebat gemma monili. 
qualis ubi Oceani renovatus Lucifer unda 
laudatur Veneri et certat maioribus astris. 640 

ostro ipse ac sonipes ostro totumque per agmen 
purpura Agenoreis saturata micabat aenis. 
hie avidum pugnae et tam clarum excidere nomen 
Brutum exoptantem, varie nunc laevus in orbem, 
nunc dexter levibus flexo per devia gyris 645 

ludificatus equo, volucrem post terga sagittam 
fundit, Achaemenio detractans proelia ritu. 
nee damnata manus, medio sed, flebile, mento 
armigeri Cascae penetrabilis haesit harundo, 
obliquumque secans surrecta cuspide vulnus 650 

umenti ferrum admovit tepefacta palato. 
at Brutus, diro casu turbatus amici, 
ausum multa virum et spargentem in vulnera saevos 
fraude fugae calamos, iam nullis cursibus instat 
prendere cornipedis, sed totam pectoris iram 655 

mandat atrox hastae telumque volatile nodo 
excutit, et summum, qua laxa monilia crebro 
nudabant versu, tramittit cuspide pectus. 

« The planet Venus, called by the Romans Lucifer as a 
morning star, and Hesperus as an evening star. 

^ The purple dye of Sidon, made from the mvreoi or purple- 
fish, was the most famous in the ancient world. 
382 




PUNICA, VII. 632-668 

strange pallor disfigured his youthful beauty ; his 
shield fell from his loosened grasp, and the sleep of 
darkness stole over his eyes. 

Cleadas, a descendant of Cadmus, had come to the 
wars from Tyrian Sidon, summoned by the entreaty 
of the daughter-city, and fought side by side with the 
Carthaginians, proud of his troop of archers from the 
East ; jewels sparkled all over his golden helmet and 
golden collar. So sparkles Lucifer," when, refreshed 
by the waters of Ocean, he is approved by Venus and 
outshines the greater stars. Purple was his dress, 
and purple the housings of his steed ; and on all his 
company glittered the precious dye that is steeped 
in the vats of Sidon.^ Brutus, eager for the fray, was 
burning to blot out such a famous name ; but Cleadas 
mocked him, wheeling his horse lightly round in mazy 
circles, now to the right and now to the left ; and then 
he shot a winged arrow over his shoulder, refusing 
in Persian ^ fashion to face his foe. Nor did he fail 
to hit : the keen arrow lodged, alas, right in the 
chin of Casca, the squire of Brutus ; warmed with 
blood the point passed upwards, leaving a jagged 
wound, and forced the steel into the moist palate. 
But Brutus, troubled by the grievous plight of his 
friend, no longer tried to ride down Cleadas, as he 
ranged at large and sent out a shower of deadly 
arrows while pretending flight : he entrusted to his 
spear all the fierce anger of his heart, and launched 
the flying weapon with a thong ^ ; and the point 
pierced his breast, where the collar with its row ot 
pendants hung loose and left the neck exposed. 

* The Parthian archers are meant : it was their regular 
practice to shoot their arrows while retreating. 
<• See note to i. 318. 

SBS 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

labitur intento cornu transfossus, et una 

arcum laeva cadens dimisit, dextra sagittam. 660 

At non tarn tristi sortitus proelia Marte 
Phoebei Soractis honor Carmelus agebat ; 
sanguine quippe suo iam Bagrada tinxerat ensem, 
dux rectorque Nubae populi ; iam fusus eidem 
Zeusis, Amyclaei stirps impacata Phalanti, 665 

quern tulerat mater claro Phoenissa Laconi. 
talia dum metuit, nee pugnae fisus in hoste 
tarn rapido nee deinde fugae, suadente pavore, 
per dumos miser in vicina cacumina quercus 
repserat atque alta sese occultabat in umbra 670 

Hampsicus, insistens tremulis sub pondere ramis. 
hunc longa multa orantem Carmelus et altos 
mutantem saltu ramos transverberat hasta ; 
ut, qui viscata populatur harundine lucos, 
dum nemoris celsi procera cacumina sensim 675 

substructa certat tacitus contingere meta, 
sublimem calamo sequitur crescente volucrem. 
effudit vitam, atque alte manante cruore 
membra pependerunt curvato exsanguia ramo. 

lamque in palantes ac versos terga feroces 680 

pugnabant I tali, subitus cum mole pavenda 
terrificis Maurus prorumpit Tunger in armis. 
nigra viro membra, et furvi iuga celsa trahebant 
cornipedes, totusque novae formidinis arte 
concolor aequabat liventia currus equorum 685 

terga ; nee erectis similes imponere cristis 
cessarat pennas, aterque tegebat amictus. 

" See note to v. 175. ^ The founder of Tarentum. 

" The ancient bird-catcher used a cane-rod tipped with 
bird-lime and made in separate joints, like our fishing-rods, 
so that he could lengthen it out by degrees till it reached the 
bird. 
384) 






PUNICA, VII. 669-687 

Cleadas' bow was bent when he was laid low by the 
spear ; the bow slipped from his left hand and the 
arrow from his right, as down he fell. 

But better fortune in battle befell Carmelus, the 
pride of Soracte ° sacred to Apollo. For he had 
already dyed his sword with the blood of Bagrada, 
lord and leader of a Nubian people ; and he had slain 
Zeusis also, a warlike son of Spartan Phalantus,^ whom 
a Punic mother had borne to a famous Lacedae- 
monian. Then fearing the same fate, Hampsicus had 
not confidence to engage so active a foe, nor even 
to fly : urged by terror, the poor wretch had passed 
through thickets and climbed to the top of a neigh- 
bouring oak, where he hid in the thick leafage, 
standing on boughs that shook under his weight. 
But Carmelus ran him through with his long spear, 
as he begged hard for mercy and sprang from branch 
to branch overhead. Thus the fowler who dis- 
peoples the grove with his cane-rod tipped with bird- 
lime, pursues the bird over his head with a lengthen- 
ing reed, and silently tries to reach at last the top- 
most branches by adding a joint to his tapering rod." 
Hampsicus poured forth his life ; his blood streamed 
down from above, and his lifeless limbs bent down 
the branch on which they hung. 

And now the Romans were fighting fiercely against 
the straggling and fleeing foe, when suddenly 
Tunger, the Moor, a terrible giant, rushed forward to 
battle. His body was black, and his lofty chariot 
was drawn by black horses ; and the chariot — a 
new device to strike terror — was the same colour all 
over as the dusky backs of the steeds ; and on his 
lofty crest he had been careful to set a plume of the 
same hue ; and the garment he wore was black also. 

385 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ceu quondam aeternae regnator noctis, ad imos 
cum fugeret thalamos, Hennaea virgine rapta, 
egit nigrantem Stygia caligine currum. 690 

at Cato, turn prima sparsus lanugine malas, 
quod peperere decus Circaeo Tuscula dorso 
moenia, Laertae quondam regnata nepoti, 
quamquam tardatos turbata fronte Latinos 
collegisse gradum videt, imperterritus ipse 695 

ferrata calce atque effusa largus habena 
cunctantem impellebat equum. negat obvius ire 
et trepidat cassa sonipes exterritus umbra, 
tum celer in pugnam dorso delatus ab alto 
alipedem planta currum premit atque volanti 700 
assilit a tergo : cecidere et lora repente 
et stimuli ; ferrumque super cervice tremiscens 
palluit infelix subducto sanguine Maurus. 
ora rapit gladio praefixaque cuspide portat. 

At saevo Mavorte ferox perrumpit anhelum 705 
dictator cum caede globum. miserabile visu, 
vulneribus fessum ac multo labente cruore 
ductorem cernit suprema ac foeda precantem. 
manavere genis lacrimae, clipeoque paventem 
protegit et natum stimulans : " fortissime, labem 710 
banc pellamus," ait, " Poenoque ob mitia facta, 
quod nullos nostris ignes disperserit arvis, 
dignum expendamus pretium." tunc, arte paterna 
ac stimulis gaudens, iuvenis circumdata Poenum 

*• Pluto (or Dis), when he carried oflp Proserpina from 
Henna, to be his queen in the nether world, came up to earth 
in a black chariot. 

" The famous Censor, M. Porcius Cato : born in 234 b.c, 
he was now seventeen years old. 

* Telegonus, a son of Ulysses and Circe, and therefore 

386 



PUNICA, VII. 688-714 

So the Ruler of the eternal darkness, when he carried 
off the maiden from Henna long ago and hastened to 
their bridal chamber in the lower world, drove a chariot 
black with the darkness of Hell." But Cato,^ on 
whose cheeks the down of manhood was just appear- 
ing, was undismayed. He was the pride of his native 
Tusculum, which lies on Circe's height and was 
once ruled by the grandson of Laertes.*' Though 
he saw that the Roman van was checked and had 
withdrawn in confusion, he drove on his hesitating 
steed with iron heel and freely loosened rein. The 
horse refused to go forward and stood trembling, terri- 
fied by the harmless shadow that Tunger cast. Then 
quickly dismounting from his tall horse to fight, 
he followed the flying chariot on foot, and sprang 
upon it from behind as it sped on. Reins and whip 
were dropped in a moment ; and the ill-fated Moor 
lost courage and turned pale, dreading the sword that 
hung over his neck. Cato cut off his head with the 
sword and carried it away, stuck on the point of his 
spear. 

Meanwhile the Dictator, exulting in fierce battle, 
burst his way through a mass of exhausted men, and 
carried death with him. Then he saw a pitiful sight 
— Minucius weary, wounded, and bleeding, and ask- 
ing for a shameful death. Fabius shed tears, and 
protected the frightened general with his shield. 
Then he encouraged his son to battle thus : " Brave 
son, let us wipe off the stain upon us and repay 
Hannibal in full for his kind treatment in dropping 
no fire upon our fields." ^ Then, rejoicing in the en- 
couragement of his wise father, the young man drove 

grandson of Laertes, was the legendary founder of Tusculum 
(now Frascati). * See 11. 260 foil. 

387 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

agmina deturbat gladio campumque relaxat, 715 

donee Sidonius decederet aequore ductor ; 

ceu, stimulante fame, rapuit cum Martius agnum 

averso pastore lupus fetumque trementem 

ore tenet presso ; tum, si vestigia cursu 

auditis celeret balatibus obvia pastor, 720 

iam sibimet metuens, spirantem dentibus imis 

reiectat praedam et vacuo fugit aeger hiatu. 

tum demum, Tyrium quas circumfuderat atra 

tempestas, Stygiae tandem fugere tenebrae. 

torpebant dextrae, et sese meruisse negabant 725 

servari, subitisque bonis mens aegra natabat. 

ut, qui collapsa pressi iacuere ruina, 

eruta cum subito membra et nox atra recessit, 

conivent solemque pavent agnoscere visu. 

Quis actis, senior, numerato milite laetus, 730 

colles et tuto repetebat in aggere castra. 
ecce autem e media iam morte renata inventus, 
clamorem tollens ad sidera et ordine longo 
ibat ovans Fabiumque decus Fabiumque salutem 
certatim et magna memorabant voce parentem. 735 
tum, qui partitis dissederat ante maniplis : 
" sancte," ait, " o genitor, revocato ad lucis honorem 
si fas vera queri, cur nobis castra virosque 
dividere est licitum ? patiens cur arma dedisti, 
quae solus rexisse vales ? hoc munere lapsi 740 

aeternas multo cum sanguine vidimus umbras. 

" They were unable at first to use their hands in greeting 
tlieir deliverer. ^ Minucius. 

38H 



PUNICA, VII. 715-741 

off with the sword the surrounding ranks of Carthage, 
and cleared the plain ; and Hannibal at last withdrew 
from the field. So, when the shepherd's back is 
turned, the wolf that Mars loves, urged by hunger, 
snatches up a lamb and holds the frightened young- 
ling fast in its jaws ; but, if the shepherd hears a 
bleating and runs to face the wolf, then it fears for 
itself, and casts up the still breathing prey from 
between its teeth, and makes off in wrath with empty 
jaws. Not till then was the Stygian darkness, with 
which the black cloud of the Carthaginian attack had 
surrounded the army of Minucius, at last dispelled. 
Their hands were numbed ; ° they said they were 
not worthy to be rescued ; they were stunned and 
confused by sudden good fortune. Even so, men 
buried beneath a falling house, when dug out and 
suddenly released from darkness, bhnk with their 
eyes and fear to see the sun again. 

When all this was done, Fabius numbered his army 
and was glad, and marched back to the heights where 
they were safe in camp. But, behold, the soldiers, 
recalled to life from the very jaws of death, raised a 
shout to the sky and marched triumphantly in long 
procession, all with one acclaim loudly hailing Fabius 
as their glory, Fabius as their saviour, and Fabius 
as their father. Then the general ^ who had 
lately parted from him, taking half the army with 
him, spoke thus : " O worshipful father, if I, thus 
restored to the blessing of light, may make a just 
complaint, why were we permitted to have separate 
camps and separate armies ? Why did you submit to 
hand over a force which you alone are fit to command ? 
To that generous act we owed our fall and looked on 
the darkness of death, and much blood was spilt. 

389 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ocius hue aquilas servataque signa referte. 
hie patria est, murique urbis stant peetore in uno. 
tuque dolos, Poene, atque astus tandem exue notos ; 
eum solo tibi iam Fabio sunt bella gerenda." 745 

Haec ubi dieta dedit, mille hinc, venerabile visu, 
caespite de viridi surgunt properantibus arae. 
nee prius aut epulas aut munera grata Lyaei 
fas cuiquam tetigisse fuit, quam multa precatus 
in mensam Fabio sacrum libavit honorem. 750 

« Wine. 



S90 



I 



PUNICA, VII. 742-750 

Make haste, ye soldiers, to bring back hither the 
eagles and standards which Fabiiis saved ! Fabius 
is our country, and the walls of Rome rest on the 
shoulders of a single man ! And you, Hannibal, have 
done with your stale tricks and stratagems ; in future 
you have to fight Fabius and him alone." 

When Minucius had spoken thus, an imposing sight 
then wasseen — a thousand altars of greenturf raisedin 
haste ; and no man dared to touch food or the pleasant 
gift of Lyaeus,<* till he had offered many a prayer and 
poured out wine upon the board in honour of Fabius. 



391 



LIBER OCTAVUS 



ARGUMENT 



HannihaVs anxiety (1-24). Juno sends Anna to comfort 
him : Anna, the sister of Dido, is now a nymph of the river 
Numicius : she tells her own history, and encourages 
Hannibal by foretelling the battle of Cannae (25-241). C. 
Terentius Varro is elected consul at Rome : his boastful 

Primus Agenoridum cedentia terga videre 
Aeneadis dederat Fabius. Romana parentem 
solum castra vocant, solum vocat Hannibal hostem 
impatiensque morae fremit ; ut sit copia Martis, 
expectanda viri fata optandumque sub armis 
Parcarum auxilium ; namque, hac spirante senecta, 
nequicquam sese Latium sperare cruorem. 
iam vero concors miles signisque relatis 
indivisus honos, iterumque et rursus eidem 
soli obluctandum Fabio, maioribus aegrum 10 

angebant curis. lentando fervida bella 
dictator cum multa adeo, turn miles egenus 
cunctarum ut rerum Tyrius foret, arte sedendi 
egerat ; et, quamquam finis pugnaque manuque 
hauddum partus erat, iam bello vicerat hostem. 15 
quin etiam ingenio fluxi, sed prima feroces, 
vaniloquum Celtae genus ac mutabile mentis, 
392 



BOOK VIII 
ARGUMENT (continued) 

speeches (242-277). His colleague, L. Aemilius Paulus, is 
afraid to thwart him (278-297). He is advised by Fabius 
to oppose Varro (298-348). The consuls start for Apulia : 
a catalogue of their troops (349-621). Evil omens before the 
battle alarm the soldiers (622-676). 

Fabius had been the first to show the Romans the 
retreating backs of the Carthaginians. Him alone his 
soldiers called their father, and him alone Hannibal 
called his foe. The Carthaginian leader raged, 
impatient of delay : for a chance of fighting, he must 
wait for the death of Fabius and summon the Fates 
as allies in war ; for, so long as that old man lived, he 
had no hope of shedding Italian blood. Further, the 
united army, serving with standards restored under 
a single commander, and the necessity of wrestling 
again and again with Fabius alone — all this weighed 
still more heavily on his anxious spirit. By skilful 
inaction and by slackening the pace of war, the 
Dictator had effected much ; and, above all, he 
had deprived the Tyrian army of all supplies ; and, 
though a fight to a finish was still in the future, he 
was already the master of the foe. Moreover, the 
Gauls, a boastful and unstable people, bold at the 
start but infirm of purpose, were turning their eyes 

393 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

respectare domos ; maerebant caede sine uUa 

(insolitum sibi) bella geri, siccasque cruore 

inter tela siti Mavortis hebescere dextras. 20 

his super internae labes et civica vulnus 

invidia augebant : laevus conatibus Hannon 

ductoris non ulla domo summittere patres 

auxilia aut ullis opibus iuvisse sinebat. 

Quis lacerum curis et rerum extrema paventem 25 
ad spes armorum et furialia vota reducit 
praescia Cannarum luno atque elata futuris. 
namque hac accitam stagnis Laurentibus Annam 
alFatur voce et blandis hortatibus implet : 
" sanguine cognato iuvenis tibi, diva, laborat 30 

Hannibal, a vestro nomen memorabile Belo. 
perge, age et insanos curarum comprime fluctus. 
excute sollicito Fabium. sola ilia Latinos 
sub iuga mittendi mora iam discingitur armis : 
cum Varrone manus et cum Varrone serenda 35 

proelia, nee desit fatis ad signa movenda. 
ipsa adero. tendat iamdudum in lapyga campum. 
hue Trebiae rursum et Thrasymenni fata sequentur." 

Tum diva, indigetis castis contermina lucis : 
*' baud," inquit, " tua ius nobis praecepta morari. 40 
sit fas, sit tantum, quaeso, retinere favorem 

« See ii. 276 foil. 

" The Numicius was a little river which flowed into the 
sea between Lavinium and Ardea. Anna Perenna, a 
tutelary nymph of the river, was identified by the Roman 
poets with Anna, the sister of Dido. 

" C. Terentius Varro, the popular leader of the day, was 
elected consul for 216 b.c. together with L. Aemilius Paulus. 

394 



PUNICA, VIII. 18-41 

homewards : unaccustomed to a bloodless campaign, 
they grieved that their hands, unwetted with gore in 
time of war, should be enfeebled by thirst for conflict. 
Nor was this all : his troubles were increased by 
dangers at home — the jealousy of his fellow-citizens 
and the opposition of Hanno <* to the enterprise ; for 
Hanno would not suffer their senate to send reinforce- 
ments or supplies of any kind. 

Though tortured by these anxieties and fearing the 
worst, Hannibal regained hope of victory and renewed 
his insane ambition, by help of Juno ; the goddess 
foresaw the field of Cannae, and coming events filled 
her with pride. Summoning Anna from the river 
of Laurentum ^ she thus addressed her, pressing her 
with flattering appeal : " Goddess, a youth akin to 
you is in sore straits — even Hannibal, a famous name, 
descended from Belus the Phoenician. Arise, hasten, 
and assuage his raging sea of troubles. Dislodge 
Fabius from his mind. Fabius alone stands between 
the Romans and subjugation ; but he is now putting 
off his armour, and Hannibal will have to fight 
against Varro " and meet Varro in battle. Let him 
move his standards forward and take advantage of 
Fortune. I myself shall be there. Let him march 
instantly to the plain of lapygia.** The doom of 
the Trebia and Lake Trasimene shall be repeated 
there." 

Then the nymph, who dwells near the sacred grove 
of the native god," thus repUed : "It is my duty to 
do your bidding without delay. One thing only I 
beg : suffer me to keep the goodwill of my former 

* Apulia : see note to iii. 707. 

• Aeneas : he was believed to have been drowned in the 
river Numicius and was worshipped in a temple there. 

295 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

antiquae patriae mandataque magna sororis, 
quamquam inter Latios Annae stet numen honores.** 

Multa retro rerum iacet atque ambagibus aevi 
obtegitur densa caligine mersa vetustas, 45 

cur Sarrana dicent Oenotri numina templo, 
regnisque Aeneadum germana colatur Elissae. 
sed pressis stringam revocatam ab origine famam 
narrandi metis breviterque antiqua revolvam. 

Iliaco postquam deserta est hospite Dido, 60 

et spes abruptae, mediam in penetralibus atram 
festinat furibunda pyram : tum corripit ens em 
certa necis, profugi donum exitiale mariti. 
despectus taedae regnis se imponit larbas, 
et tepido fugit Anna rogo : quis rebus egenis 55 

ferret opem, Nomadum late terrente tyranno ? 
Battus Cyrenen molli tum forte fovebat 
imperio, mitis Battus lacrimasque dedisse 
casibus humanis facilis. qui, supplice visa, 
intremuit regum eventus dextramque tetendit. 60 
atque ea, dum flavas bis tondet messor aristas, 
servata interea sedes ; nee longius uti 
his opibus Battoque fuit ; nam ferre per aequor 
exitium miserae iam Pygmaliona docebat. 
ergo agitur pelago, divis inimica sibique, 65 

quod se non dederit comitem in suprema sorori, 
donee iactatam laceris, miserabile, velis 
fatalis turbo in Laurentes expulit oras. 
non caeli, non ilia soli, non gnara colentum 



« Dido bequeathed vengeance against Rome. 

" Aeneas. " An African prince. 

** She stayed there two years. 

« See note to i. 21. 



PUNICA, VIII. 42-69 

country and to carry out the solemn behests of my 
sister,** although the deity of Anna is among those 
honoured by the Romans." 

Far back in history, and hidden in deep darkness 
by the uncertain report of antiquity, lies the answer 
to this question ; why should the Italians consecrate 
a temple to a Phoenician deity, and why should Dido's 
sister be worshipped in the country of the Aeneadae ? 
But I shall repeat the legend from the beginning, 
keeping my tale within strict Hmits, and briefly re- 
calling the past. 

When Dido was deserted by her Trojan guest ^ and 
hope was utterly dead, she hastened in frenzy to 
the fatal pyre within the palace. Then, resolved 
on death, she seized the sword which her runagate 
husband had given her for her destruction. larbas,*' 
whose hand she had refused in marriage, usurped the 
throne, and Anna fled before her sister's pyre was 
cold. Who would help her in her need, when that 
king of the Numidians spread terror far and wide ? 
It chanced that Battus then ruled Cyrene with gentle 
sway — Battus, a kindly man and ready to give a tear 
to human suffering. When he saw the suppliant, he 
trembled at the thought of what princes may suffer, 
and stretched forth his hand to her. And there she 
stayed for a time, till the golden ears were twice cat 
down by the reapers.** Then she could no longer 
avail herself of Battus and his friendship ; for he 
told her that Pygmalion * was sailing thither, intent 
on her destruction. So she was driven to the sea, 
angry with Heaven, and with herself for not dying 
together with her sister, and was pitifully tossed with 
tattered sails, till at last a fateful storm wrecked her 
upon the coast of Laurentum. A stranger to that 

VOL. I O S97 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Sidonis in Latia trepidabat naufraga terra. 70 

ecce autem Aeneas, sacro comitatus lulo, 

iam regni compos, no to sese ore ferebat. 

qui terrae defixam oculos et multa timentem 

ac deinde allapsam genibus lacrimantis luli 

attollit mitique manu intra limina ducit. 75 

atque ubi iam casus adversorumque pavorem 

hospitii lenivit honos, tum discere maesta 

exposcit cura letum infelicis Elissae. 

cui sic, verba trahens largis cum fletibus, Anna 

incipit et blandas addit pro tempore voces : 80 

" nate dea, solus regni lucisque fuisti 

germanae tu causa meae ; mors testis et ille 

(heu cur non idem mihi tum !) rogus. ora videre 

postquam est ereptum miserae tua, litore sedit 

interdum, stetit interdum ; ventosque secuta 85 

infelix oculis, magno clamore vocabat 

Aenean comitemque tuae se imponere solam 

orabat paterere rati, mox turbida anhelum 

rettulit in thalamos cursum subitoque tremore 

substitit et sacrum timuit tetigisse cubile. 90 

inde amens nunc sideream fulgentis luli 

effigiem fovet amplexu, nunc tota repente 

ad vultus conversa tuos, ab imagine pendet 

conqueriturque tibi et sperat responsa remitti. 

non umquam spem ponit amor, iam tecta domumque 

deserit et rursus portus furibunda revisit, 96 

si qui te referant converso flamine venti. 

ad magicas etiam fallax atque improba gentis 

Massylae levitas descendere compulit artes. 

heu sacri vatum errores ! dum numina noctis 100 




PUNICA, VIII. 70-100 

clime and soil and to its inhabitants, the Phoenician 
princess was afraid when shipwrecked upon the land 
of Italy. But see ! Aeneas, having now gained a 
kingdom, came with godlike lulus, and his face she 
knew. In great fear she gazed upon the ground and 
then knelt down before weeping lulus ; but Aeneas 
raised her up and led her gently within the palace. 
And when a courteous reception had lightened her 
troubles and dispelled her fear of danger, with anxious 
sorrow he asked to hear about the death of unhappy 
Dido. And Anna thus began, sighing and weeping 
abundantly as she spoke, and used soft words too to 
suit the occasion : " O goddess-born, my sister's 
throne and her life depended upon you alone ; bear 
witness her death and that funeral-pyre, which would 
that I then had shared ! When the sight of your face 
was taken from her, she sometimes sat, sometimes 
stood, on the shore in her misery ; watching the 
course of the winds, she called Aeneas back with a 
great cry, and prayed that you would deign to take 
her alone on board your ship. Then in confused 
haste she hurried back to her chamber, and suddenly 
trembled and stood still, fearing to touch that sacred 
couch. Next in her distraction, she first clasps the 
beauteous image of radiant lulus, and then, quickly 
turning her whole mind to your likeness, hangs upon 
your image, making her plaint to you and hoping for 
an answer. Love never abandons hope. Now she 
leaves the palace and goes back in frenzy to the 
harbour, in case some wind may shift its course and 
blow you back. She stooped even to magic arts, 
driven to this by the wicked deceitfulness and folly of 
the Massylian race. But, out upon wizards and their 
accursed delusions ! While they called up the infernal 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

eliciunt spondentque novis medicamina curis 
(quod vidi decepta nefas !) congessit in atram 
cuncta tui monumenta pyram et non prospera dona.*' 

Tunc sic Aeneas dulci repetitus amore : 
" tellurem hanc iuro, vota inter nostra frequenter 
auditam vobis ; iuro caput, Anna, tibique 106 

germanaeque tuae dilectum mitis luli, 
respiciens aegerque animi turn regna reliqui 
vestra, nee abscessem thalamo, ni magna minatus 
meque sua ratibus dextra imposuisset et alto 110 

egisset rapidis classem Cyllenius Euris. 
sed cur (heu seri monitus !) cur tempore tali 
incustodito saevire dedistis amori ? " 

Contra sic infit, volvens vix murmur anhelum 
inter singultus labrisque trementibus Anna : 115 

" nigro forte lovi, cui tertia regna laborant, 
atque atri sociae thalami nova sacra parabam, 
quis aegram mentem et trepidantia corda levaret 
infelix germana tori, furvasque trahebam 
ipsa manu, properans ad visa pianda, bidentes ; 120 
namque super somno dirus me impleverat horror : 
terque suam Dido, ter cum clamore vocarat 
et laeta exultans ostenderat ora Sychaeus. 
quae dum abigo menti et, sub lucem ut visa secundent, 
oro caelicolas ac vivo purgor in amni, 125 

ilia, cito passu pervecta ad litora, mutae 
oscula, qua steteras, bis terque infixit harenae ; 
deinde amplexa sinu late vestigia fovit, 
ceu cinerem orbatae pressant ad pectora matres. 

« See note to iii. 168. 

'' Jupiter was king of heaven and earth, Neptune of the sea, 
and Pluto of the nether world. " Proserpina. 

^ The dead husband of Dido. 
• A common ceremony of purification. 

400 




PUNICA, VIII. 101-129 

gods and promised relief for her strange trouble — 
what a dreadful sight did I, who believed them, 
witness ! — she heaped upon a fatal pyre all memorials 
of you and your ill-starred gifts." 

Then Aeneas answered, revisited by passion with 
all its sweetness : "I swear by this land, to which 
vou both often heard me appeal when we exchanged 
vows ; I swear by the head of gentle lulus, once so 
dear to you and to your sister : in sorrow and with a 
longing look behind I left your kingdom ; nor would 
I have broken off the marriage, had not the god of 
Cyllene," with dreadful threats, set me on board 
with his own hand, and driven the fleet out to sea 
with swift winds. But why — too late, alas, is my 
warning — why at such a moment did ye allow passion 
to run wild unwatched ? " 

Anna thus replied with quivering lips and in a 
breathless voice between her sobs : "I chanced to 
be preparing strange offerings for the sable King 
whom the third realm obeys, '^ and for the partner of 
his gloomy bed,'' in order to relieve my love-lorn sister 
of her sorrow and unrest ; and I was myself bringing 
black-fleeced sheep, and making haste, to avert an 
evil dream. For, in my sleep, an awful fear had filled 
my heart ; and thrice, thrice over with a loud cry, 
had Sychaeus '^ claimed Dido as his own and shown 
a face of pride and joy. I drove this from my 
thoughts and prayed to the gods to give a favourable 
turn to the dream, when day came ; and I bathed in 
a running stream.* Meanwhile, Dido went quickly 
to the beach and kissed many times the dumb sand 
where you had stood ; and then she fondly embraced 
ill your foot-prints, even as a mother strains to her 
breast the ashes of a lost son. Then she rushed back 

401 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

turn rapido praeceps cursu resoliitaque crinem 130 

evasit propere in celsam, quam struxerat ante 

magna mole, pyram ; cuius de sede dabatur 

cernere cuncta freta et totam Carthaginis urbem. 

hie Phrygiam vestem et bacatum induta monile, 

postquam ilium infelix hausit, quo munera primum 

sunt conspecta, diem et convivia mente reduxit 136 

festasque adventu mensas teque ordine Troiae 

narrantem longos, se pervigilante, labores, 

in portus amens rorantia lumina flexit : 

' di longae noctis, quorum iam numina nobis 140 

mors instans maiora facit, precor,' inquit, ' adeste 

et placidi victos ardore admittite manes. 

Aeneae coniux, Veneris nurus, ulta maritum, 

^vidi constructas nostrae Carthaginis arces. 

nunc ad vos magni descendet corporis umbra. 145 

me quoque fors dulci quondam vir notus amore 

expectat, curas cupiens aequare priores.' 

haec dicens ensem media in praecordia adegit, 

ensem Dardanii quaesitum in pignus amoris. 

viderunt comites tristique per atria planctu 150 

concurrunt ; magnis resonant ululatibus acdes. 

accepi infelix dirisque exterrita fatis, 

ora manu lacerans, lymphato regia cursu 

tecta peto celsosque gradus evadere nitor. 

ter iliro fueram conata incumbere ferro, 155 

ter cecidi exanimae membris revoluta sororis. 

iamque ferebatur vicina per oppida rumor : 

arma parant Nomadum proceres et sae vus larbas. 157 a 

^ For the lacuna that begins here see Introd. p. xvii. 
402 



PUNICA, VIII. 130-157 a 

headlong with hair unbound and came to the great 
high pyre she had raised already ; and from its site 
all the sea was visible and the whole city of Carthage. 
Next she put on the robe from Troy and the necklace 
of pearls ; she drank in, poor wretch, the memory of 
that day when she first saw those gifts ; she recalled 
the banquet and the feast that greeted your arrival, 
when you told in order the long agony of Troy, and 
she sat late to hear you. Then in distraction she 
turned her weeping eyes to the harbour. * Ye gods 
of endless night,' she cried, * whose power seems 
greater to one at the point of death, help me, I pray, 
and give a kindly welcome to a spirit that love has 
conquered. The wife of Aeneas, the daughter-in- 
law of Venus, I avenged my husband," I saw the 
towers of my city Carthage rise ; and now the shade 
of a great queen shall go down to your domain. Per- 
haps my husband, whose love was sweet to me long 
ago, is waiting for me there, eager to love me no less 
than before.* Thus speaking she drove a sword into 
the centre of her breast — the sword which she had 
received as a pledge of the Trojan's love. Her 
attendants saw it, and rushed together through the 
halls with mourning and beating of breasts ; the 
palace resounded with their loud cries. I, unhappy, 
heard the tidings ; terror-stricken by that dreadful 
death, I tore my cheeks with my nails, as I rushed 
in frenzy to the palace and struggled to climb the 
lofty steps. Thrice I strove to throw myself on the 
accursed sword, and thrice I fell prostrate on the body 
of my dead sister. Soon the rumour spread through 
the neighbouring cities ; the Numidian chiefs and 
fierce larbas ^ prepared for war ; and I, driven by 
• Sychaeus. " See 1. 54. 

403 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

turn Cyrenaeam fatis agitantibus urbem 
devenio ; hinc vestris pelagi vis appulit oris." 

Motus erat placidumque animum mentemqae 
quietam 160 

Troius in miseram rector susceperat Annam. 
iamque omnes luctus omnesque e pectore curas 
dispulerat, Phrygiis nee iam amplius advena tectis 
ilia videbatur. tacito nox atra sopore 
cuncta per et terras et lati stagna profundi 165 

condiderat. tristi cum Dido aegerrima vultu 
has visa in somnis germanae efFundere voces : 
" his, soror, in tectis longae indulgere quieti, 
heu nimium secura, potes ? nee, quae tibi fraudes 
tendantur, quae circumstent discrimina, cernis ? 170 
ac nondum nostro infaustos generique soloque 
Laomedonteae noscis telluris alumnos ? 
dum caelum rapida Stellas vertigine volvet, 
lunaque fraterno lustrabit lumine terras, 
pax nulla Aeneadas inter Tyriosque manebit. 175 
surge, age, iam tacitas suspecta Lavinia fraudes 
molitur dirumque nefas sub corde volutat. 
praeterea (ne falsa putes haec fingere somnum) 
haud procul hinc parvo descendens fonte Numicus 
labitur et leni per valles volvitur amne. 180 

hue rapies, germana, viam tutosque receptus. 
te sacra excipient hilares in flumina Nymphae, 
aeternumque Italis numen celebrabere in oris." 
sic fata in tenuem Phoenissa evanuit auram. 

Anna novis somno excutitur perterrita visis, 185 
itque timor totos gelido sudor e per artus. 

<• The Trojans : Laomedon was a king of Troy, and the 
father of Priam. 
404 



PUNICA, VIII. 158-186 

fate, came to the city of Cyrene ; and at last the 
violence of the sea brought me to your coast." 

Aeneas was touched : he had admitted to his heart 
a gentle and kindly feeling towards Anna in her 
troubles. Soon she had put away all grief and sorrow 
from her heart, and she no longer seemed a stranger 
in the palace of the Trojan. When black night had 
wrapped all things in silent sleep, over all the earth 
and the still expanse of sea, she dreamed that her 
sister, Dido, with a face of sorrow and utmost grief, 
spoke to her thus : " Sister, too heedless sister, how 
can you bear to sleep long under this roof ? Are you 
blind to the snares laid for you and the dangers that 
surround you ? Do you not yet understand that the 
people of Laomedon** bring doom upon our nation 
and our land ? As long as the sky makes the stars 
revolve with rapid course, and the moon lights up 
the earth with her brother's radiance, no lasting peace 
shall there be between the Aeneadae and the men of 
Tyre. Rise in haste ; I distrust Lavinia ^ — already 
she is laying snares in secret, and ponders some 
horrible outrage. Further — nor deem this message 
the idle coinage of sleep — not far from here the 
river Numicus '^ flows down from a little spring and 
runs with gentle current through the valleys. Hasten, 
sister, to a harbour of safety there. The Nymphs 
will gladly admit you to their sacred stream ; and 
your deity shall be for ever honoured in the land of 
Italy." So Dido spoke and vanished into thin air. 

Terrified by her strange dream, Anna started up 
from sleep ; and fear covered her limbs with a cold 

" The wife whom Aeneas had married in Italy : it is 
implied that she was jealous of Anna and intended to kill her. 
« This river was called either Numicus or Nuniicius. 
VOL. I o2 405 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

tunc, ut erat tenui corpus velamine tecta, 

prosiluit stratis humilique egressa fenestra 

per patulos currit plantis pernicibus agros, 

donee harenoso, sic fama, Numicius illam 190 

suscepit gremio vitreisque abscondidit antris. 

orta dies totum radiis impleverat orbem, 

cum nullam Aeneadae thalamis Sidonida nacti 

et Rutulum magno errantes clamore per agrum, 

vicini ad ripas fluvii manifesta secuntur 195 

signa pedum ; dumque inter se mirantur, ab alto 

amnis aquas cursumque rapit ; tum sedibus imis 

inter caeruleas visa est residere sorores 

Sidonis et placido Teucros afFarier ore. 

ex illo primis anni celebrata diebus 200 

per totam Ausoniam venerando numine culta est. 

Hanc postquam in tristes Italum Saturnia pugnas 
hortata est, celeri superum petit aethera curru, 
optatum Latii tandem potura cruorem. 
diva deae parere parat magnumque Libyssae 205 
ductorem gentis nuUi conspecta petebat. 
ille, virum coetu tum forte remotus ab omni, 
incertos rerum eventus bellique volutans, 
anxia ducebat vigili suspiria corde.^ 
cui dea sic dictis curas solatur amicis : 210 

" quid tantum ulterius, rex o fortissime gentis 
Sidoniae, ducis cura aegrescente dolorem ? 
omnis iam placata tibi manet ira deorum, 
omnis Agenoridis rediit favor, eia, age, segnes 
rumpe moras, rape Marmaricas in proelia vires. 215 

* corde Bentley : voce edd. 

" They were now on the way to become Romans. 
406 



I 



PUNICA, VIII. 187-215 

sweat. Then, just as she was, with one thin garment 
to cover her, she sprang from her bed and, climbing 
out by the low window, ran swiftly over the open fields, 
until the river Numicius — so the legend runs — re- 
ceived her in his sandy depths and hid her in his 
crystal grottoes. Dawn had filled the whole world 
with radiance, when the Aeneadae found that the 
stranger from Carthage had vanished from her 
chamber. With loud shouts they went to and fro 
through the country, and followed the plain foot- 
prints to the river-bank. And while they marvelled, 
one to another, the river stopped the seaward course 
of its waters ; and then the stranger was seen sitting 
among her sister Naiads, and she addressed the 
Trojans * with friendly speech. Ever since, Anna's 
feast has been held on the first days of the year, 
and she has been worshipped as divine throughout 
Italy. 

When Juno had appealed to Anna to stir up battle 
and sorrow for Italy, her swift car carried her back to 
heaven ; she hoped at last to gain her wish and drink 
the blood of Latium. Anna, obedient to the goddess, 
made her way in invisible shape to the great leader of 
the Libyan people. He, as it chanced, had banished 
all company from him ; he was pondering the un- 
certain issues of fortune and of war, and sighed in his 
perplexity, while his mind kept watch. Thus the 
goddess soothed his troubles with friendly speech : 
" Mightiest ruler of the Phoenicians, why do you 
persist in nursing this great grief in sick anxiety ? 
All the wrath of the gods against you has now 
been appeased, all their goodwill has come back 
to the children of Agenor. Rise up, then, witlunit 
loitering or delay ! Speed on the forces of Marmarica 

407 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

mutati fasces : iam bellum atque arma senatus 
ex inconsulto posuit Tirynthius heros ; 
cumque alio tibi Flaminio sunt bella gerenda. 
me tibi, ne dubites, summi matrona Tonantis 
misit : ego Oenotris aeternum numen in oris 220 
concelebror, vestri generata e sanguine Beli. 
baud mora sit ; rapido belli rape fulmina cursu, 
celsus lapygios ubi se Garganus in agros 
explicat. baud longe tellus ; hue dirige signa." 
dixit et in nubes humentia sustulit ora. 225 

Cui dux, promissae revirescens pignore laudis : 
** nympha, decus generis, quo non sacratius uUum 
numen," ait, " nobis, felix oblata secundes. 
ast ego te, compos pugnae, Carthaginis arce 
marmoreis sistam templis iuxtaque dicabo 230 

aequatam gemino simulacri munere Dido." 
haec fatus socios stimulat tumefactus ovantes : 
" Pone graves curas tormentaque lenta sedendi, 
fatal is Latio miles : placavimus iras 
caelicolum ; redeunt divi. finita maligno 235 

hinc Fabio imperia et mutatos consule fasces 
nuntio. nunc dextras mihi quisque atque ilia referto, 
quae Marte exclusus promittere magna solebas. 
en, numen patrium spondet maiora peractis. 
vellantur signa, ac diva ducente petamus 240 

infaustum Phrygibus Diomedis nomine campum." 

" Fabius, the Dictator. 

" The rash general defeated at Lake Trasimene. 

" See note to iv. 561. 

** She had now become a river-nymph. 

408 




PUNICA, VIII. 216-241 

to battle ! The consuls are changed. By the un- 
wisdom of the Senate the heroic scion of Hercules <» 
has laid down his arms, and you have to fight against 
a second Flaminius.^ I was sent to you — doubt it not — 
by the consort of the almighty Thunderer. Though 
I am honoured in the land of Italy as an immortal 
goddess, I was born of the seed of Belus,your ancestor. 
Make no delay ; launch the thunderbolts of war with 
utmost speed, where Mount Garganus <= sinks down to 
the fields of lapygia ; the land is not far distant ; 
straight to that point send your standards." She 
ended, and her watery <* image rose up to the clouds. 
The general, revived by this pledge of glory to 
come, addressed her thus : " Nymph, glory of our 
nation, as sacred to me as any deity, be propitious 
and give a favourable issue to your promises. If I 
may fight a battle, I will set your image in a marble 
shrine on the citadel of Carthage, and dedicate beside 
it an image of Dido, and both shall be honoured 
alike." Thus he spoke, and then swollen with pride 
encouraged his triumphant comrades. " Soldiers ! 
messengers of death to Italy ! Here is an end to heavy 
hearts and the lingering torture of inaction. We 
have appeased the anger of the gods, and they turn 
again to us. I announce to you that the command of 
Fabius, that pettifogger, is now at an end, and that 
the rods are borne before a new consul. Now let 
each of you renew his pledges to me, and make good 
the deeds of valour which you used to promise 
when debarred from fighting. See ! a goddess of our 
country promises a future greater than our past. 
Pull up the standards, and let us follow the goddess 
to the field where the name of Diomede is of ill omen 
to Trojans." 

409 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Dumque Arpos tendunt instinct! pectora Poeni, 
subnixus rapto plebei muneris ostro, 
saevit iam rostris Varro, ingentique ruinae 
festinans aperire locum, fata admovet urbi. 245 

atque illi sine luce genus surdumque parentum 
nomen, at immodice vibrabat in ore canoro 
lingua procax. hinc auctus opes largusque rapinae, 
infima dum vulgi fovet oblatratque senatum, 
tantum in quassata bellis caput extulit urbe, 250 

momentum ut rerum et fati foret arbiter unus, 
quo conservari Latium victore puderet. 
hunc Fabios inter sacrataque nomina Marti 
Scipiadas interque lovi spolia alta ferentem 
Marcellum fastis labem sufFragia caeca 255 

addiderant, Cannasque malum exitiale fovebat 
ambitus et Graio funestior aequore Campus, 
idem, ut turbarum sator atque accendere sollers 
invidiam pravusque togae, sic debilis arte 
belligera Martemque rudis versare nee ullo 260 

spectatus ferro, lingua sperabat adire 
ad dextrae decus atque e rostris bella ciebat. 
ergo alacer Fabiumque morae increpitare professus, 
ad vulgum in patres, ut ovans iam, verba ferebat: 
" vos, quorum imperium est, consul praeceptamodum- 
que 265 

bellandi posco. sedeone an montibus erro, 
dum mecum Garamas et adustus corpora Maurus 



" The city founded by Diomede in Apulia : see note to 
iv. 554. 

" The purple-bordered toga of the consul. 

" A register which preserved the names of the consuls and 
other high magistrates. 

" See note to i. 133. 

* By bribing the electors who voted in the Field of Mars, 

410 



I 



PUNICA, VIII. 242-267 

Thus encouraged, the Carthaginians made for 
Arpi." Meanwhile Varro, relying on the purple ^ that 
he had seized by gift of the people, was already 
ranting on the Rostrum, and, by his haste to prepare 
the way for a mighty downfall, brought Rome near to 
destruction. His birth was obscure ; the name of his 
ancestors was never heard ; but his impudent tongue 
wagged unceasingly, and his voice was loud. Thus he 
got wealth, and he was Hberal with his plunder ; and 
so, by courting the dregs of the people and railing at 
the Senate, he rose so high in the war-stricken city 
that he alone could turn the scale of events and 
settle the course of destiny, though Italy might 
blush to owe even victory and safety to such a man. 
Blind voters had given to him, that blot upon the 
Calendar," a place among such men as Fabius, and the 
Scipios, whose names are sacred to Mars, and Mar- 
ceilus, who presented his glorious spoils to Jupiter.** 
The holocaust of Cannae was due to bribery, and to 
the Field of Mars, more fatal than the field of Dio- 
niede.^ Also, though a bad citizen, skilful to stir up 
trouble and kindle hatred, he was helpless in the field, 
unpractised in the conduct of war, and not approved 
by any deed of valour ; but he hoped to gain martial 
glory by his tongue and sounded the war-cry from the 
Rostrum. Therefore he bestirred himself ; and, pro- 
fessing to blame Fabius for delay, he attacked the 
Senate in a speech to the people, as if he were already 
victorious ; *' The supreme power is yours," he said, 
" and from you I, the consul, ask directions for the 
conduct of the war. Am I to do nothing, or to move 
from height to height, while Garamantians and dark- 
Varro had been elected consul. The " field of Diomede " is 
the battle-field of Cannae. 

411 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

dividit Italiam ? an ferro, quo cingitis, utor ? 
exaudi, bone dictator, quid Martia plebes 
imperitet : pelli Libyas Romamque levari 270 

hoste iubent. num festinant, quos plurima passos 
tertius exurit laerimosis casibus annus ? 
ite igitur, capite arma, viri : mora sola triumpho 
parvum iter est : quae prima dies ostenderit hostem, 
et patrum regna et Poenorum bella resolvet. 275 

ite alacres ; Latia devinctum colla catena 
Hannibalem Fabio ducam spectante per urbem." 

Haec postquam increpuit, portis arma incitus efFert 
impellitque moras, veluti cum carcere rupto 
auriga indocilis totas efFudit habenas 280 

et, praeceps trepida pendens in verbera planta, 
impar fertur equis ; fumat male concitus axis, 
ac frena incerto fluitant discordia curru. 
cernebat Paulus (namque huic communia Campus 
iura atque arma tulit) labi, mergente sinistro 285 
consule, res pessumque dari ; sed mobilis ira est 
turbati vulgi, signataque mente cicatrix 
undantes aegro frenabat corde dolores. 
nam cum perdomita est armis iuvenilibus olim 
Illyris ora viri, nigro allatraverat ore ' 290 

victorem invidia et ventis iactarat iniquis. 
hinc inerat metus et durae reverentia plebis. 
sed genus admotum superis summumque per altos 

<» Fabius. 

* L. Aemilius Paulus, Varro's colleague, had been consul in 
219 B.C. and had celebrated a triumph for victories in Illyri- 
cum ; but he was afterwards prosecuted for embezzlement 
and narrowly escaped condemnation : since then he had 
Hved in retirement. 

412 




PUNICA, VIII. 268-293 

iskinned Moors share Italy with me, or am I to use 
the sword which you gird about me ? Listen, O 
worthy Dictator,'* to the order issued by the people 
of Mars : this is their demand, that the Libyans be 
driven out and Rome relieved of her enemy. Are 
they impatient ? No ! They have endured countless 
woes, and a third year is now consuming them with its 
suffering and sorrow. Rise then and arm, citizens ! 
A short march is all that divides you from victory. 
The first day that reveals the enemy to your view will 
end the tyranny of the Senate and the war with 
Carthage. Go forward with good courage ; I shall 
yet lead Hannibal through the city with Roman chains 
about his neck, and Fabius shall look on." 

After this invective he led the army in haste outside 
the gates, and swept away all obstacles. So, when 
the starting-gate is broken down, the unskilful 
charioteer loses all control of the reins : bending for- 
ward with unsteady foothold to flog his team, he is 
borne on headlong at the mercy of the horses ; the 
axles smoke with the excessive speed, and the tangled 
reins of the unsteady car swing from side to side. 
Paulus,^ to whom the voters had given equal power 
and authority vdth Varro, saw that the state was 
rushing on to ruin, destroyed by the ill-omened consul. 
But the anger of a turbulent mob is easily stirred ; 
and the scar of an ancient wrong, imprinted on his 
memory, checked the wave of resentment in his 
troubled breast. For, when formerly as a younger 
man he had conquered lUyricum, the foul mouth of 
envy had barked at the conqueror and persecuted 
him with cruel slander. Hence he feared the people 
and bowed before their enmity. Yet his race was 
akin to the gods, and he was related to the lords of 

413 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

attingebat avos caelum : numerare parentem 
Assaracum retro praestabat Amulius auctor 295 

Assaracusque lovem ; nee. qui spectasset in armis, 
abnueret genus, huic Fabius iam castra petenti : 
" si tibi cum Tyrio credis fore maxima bella 
ductore (invitus vocem hanc e pectore rumpam) 
frustraris, Paule. Ausonidum te proelia dira 300 
teque hostis castris gravior manet, aut ego multo 
nequiquam didici casus praenoscere Marte. 
spondentem audivi (piget heu taedetque senectae, 
si, quas prospicio, restat passura ruinas !) 
cum duce tarn fausti Martis, qua viderit hora, 305 
sumpturum pugnam. quantum nunc, Paule, supremo 
absumus exitio, vocem hanc si consulis ardens 
audierit Poenus ! iam latis obvia credo 
stat campis acies, expectaturque sub ictu 
alter Flaminius. quantos, insane, ciebis 310 

Varro viros, tu (pro superi !) tam pronus in arma ! 
tu campum noscas ante exploresque trahendo, 
qui ritus hostis ? tu non, quae copia rerum, 
quae natura locis, quod sit, rimabere sollers, 
armorum genus, et stantem super omnia tela 315 
fortunam aspicies. fer, Paule, indevia recti 
pectora ; cur, uni patriam si affligere fas est, 
uni sit servare nefas ? eget improbus arto 
iam victu Libys, et, belli fervore retuso, 
laxa fides socium est. non hie domus hospita tecto 
invitat patrio, non fidae moenibus urbes 321 

excipiunt renovatque pari se pube inventus. 

« See note to 1. 218. 
414 




PUNICA, VIII. 294-322 

heaven through his ancestors. For through Amuh'us, 
the founder of his hne, he could trace descent from 
Assaracus, and through Assaracus to Jupiter ; and 
none who saw him fight would dispute his pedigree. 
Now, when he was going to the camp, Fabius ad- 
dressed him thus : " Paulus, though I shrink from 
saying this thing, you are mistaken if you regard 
Hannibal as your chief opponent. Sore strife with 
Romans lies ahead of you, and a more grievous foe 
in your own camp ; or else long experience of war 
has not taught me to predict disaster. I heard Varro 
promise — irksome , alas ! and burdensome is my old age , 
if it lasts on to endure the destruction I foresee — yes, 
promise that he would fight Hannibal, that favourite 
of Fortune, the very hour he saw him. How near we are 
now, Paulus, to utter ruin, if this boast of the consul's 
comes to the eager ear of Hannibal ! Already, I 
doubt not, his army is arrayed on the wide plains to 
meet us, and waiting with uplifted swords for a second 
Flaminius." What mighty opponents will you rouse, 
Varro — you, God help us ! — in your mad desire for 
battle ! Are you the man to study the ground before- 
hand and examine at leisure the ways of the enemy ? 
You have no skill to investigate his suppHes or the 
strength of his position or his method of warfare ; you 
will not keep an eye on Fortune which matters more 
than any weapon. But you, Paulus, keep to the 
path of duty unswervingly. If a single arm may 
destroy our country, why should not a single arm 
preserve it ? Bold Hannibal now lacks food for his 
army, and his alhes are lukewarm and have lost their 
keenness for battle. No house in Italy offers him the 
hospitality due from kindred, no loyal cities welcome 
him, and his army is not renewed with recruits of 

415 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

tertia vix superest, crudo quae venit Hibero, 
turba virum. persta et cauti medicamina belli 
lentus ama. si qua interea irritaverit aura 325 

annueritque deus, velox accede secundis." 

Cui breviter maesto consul sic ore vicissim : 
" mecum erit haec prorsus pietas,mentemque feremus 
in Poenos, invicte, tuam. nee me unica fallit 
cunctandi ratio, qua te grassante senescens 330 

Hannibal oppressum vidit considere bellum. 
sed quaenam ira deum ? consul datus alter, opinor, 
Ausoniae est, alter Poenis. trahit omnia secum 
et metuit demens, alio ne consule Roma 
concidat. e Tyrio consortem accite senatu, 335 

non tam saeva volet, nullus, qui portet in hostem, 
sufRcit insano sonipes ; incedere noctis, 
quae tardent cursum, tenebras dolet ; itque superbus 
tantum non strictis mucronibus, ulla retardet 
ne pugnas mora, dum vagina ducitur ensis. 340 

farpeiae rupes cognataque sanguine nobis 
tecta lovis, quaeque arce sua nunc stantia linquo 
moenia felicis patriae, quocumque vocabit 
summa salus, testor, spreto discrimine iturum. 
sed si surda mihi pugnabunt castra monenti, 345 

baud ego vos ultra, nati, dulcemque morabor 
Assaraci de gente domum, similemve videbit 
Varroni Paulum redeuntem saucia Roma." 



" Rome. 
" He means that in case of defeat he will not return alive. 

416 



■ 



PUNICA, VIII. 323-348 

equal value. Scarce a third part survives of the army 
that started from the banks of the cold Ebro. Per- 
severe, and keep to the cautious methods that alone 
can heal the wounds of war. But if meanwhile some 
favourable turn encourages you and Heaven approves, 
then be quick to follow up good fortune." 

Brief and sad was the reply of Paulus : "I shall 
surely follow that path of duty, and in your spirit 
I shall meet the Carthaginians, O undefeated 
Fabius. And I realize our one resource — the resource 
of delay, which you used till an enfeebled Hannibal 
saw the war arrested and crushed. But what means 
this anger of Heaven ? Of the two consuls one, I 
believe, is their gift to Rome and the other their gift 
to Carthage. Varro drags all things in his train, and 
the madman fears that some other consul than him- 
self may witness the fall of Rome. If a Carthaginian 
senator were summoned as my colleague, he would 
be less ruthless in his purpose. No war-horse is swift 
enough to carry that madman against the enemy ; 
when the darkness of night comes on, he resents the 
hindrance to his activity ; he marches proudly on, 
with swords that are all but drawn, that the drawing 
of the blade from the sheath may not delay the battle. 
I swear by the Tarpeian rock, by the temple of 
Jupiter with whom I claim kindred, and by the walls 
of my glorious native city," which I leave still stand- 
ing with their citadel — I swear that whithersoever 
the safety of the state summons me, thither I will go 
and despise the danger. But if the soldiers, deaf to 
my warning, engage in battle, then I shall think no 
longer of my sons, the dear descendants of Assaracus ; 
and never shall a stricken Rome see me Uke Varro 
returning home." * 

417 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Sic turn diversa turbati mente petebant 
castra duces, at praedictis iam sederat arvis 350 
Aetolos Poenus servans ad proelia campos. 
non alias maiore virum, maiore sub armis 
agmine cornipedum concussa est Itala tellus. 
quippe extrema simul gentique urbique timebant, 
nee spes certandi plus uno Marte dabatur. 355 

Faunigenae socio bella invasere Sicano 
sacra manus Rutuli, servant qui Daunia regna 
I.aurentique domo gaudent et fonte Numici ; 
quos Castrum Phrygibusque gravis quondam Ardea 

misit, 
quos, celso devexa iugo lunonia sedes, 360 

Lanuvium atque altrix casti CoUatia Bruti ; 
quique immite nemus Triviae, quique ostia Tusci 
amnis amant tepidoque fovent Almone Cybelen. 
hinc Tibur, Catille, tuum sacrisque dicatum 
Fortunae Praeneste iugis Antemnaque, prisco 365 
Crustumio prior, atque habiles ad aratra Labici ; 
necnon sceptriferi qui potant Thybridis undam, 
quique Anienis habent ripas gelidoque rigantur 
Simbruvio rastrisque domant Aequicula rura. 
his Scaurus monitor, tenero tunc Scaurus in aevo, 370 
sed iam signa dabat nascens in saecula virtus, 
non illis solitum crispare hastilia campo, 
nee mos pennigeris pharetram implevisse sagittis ; 

** If defeated at Cannae, the Romans could not hope to 
put another army in the field. 

* Daunus, an ancient king, migrated from Apulia to 
Latium, and there founded Ardea, the chief city of the 
Rutulians. An old tradition said that Sicanians (also called 
Sicilians) had migrated from Latium to Sicily. 

* The avenger of chaste Lucretia, surnamed Collatinus. 
<* See note to iv. 769. « The Tiber. 

^ A lake formed by the river Anio. 
418 



PUNICA, VIII. 349-373 

So then the two commanders set off for the 
camp, disquieted by discordant purposes. Hannibal 
had already encamped where Anna had foretold, 
keeping to the plains of Diomede for a battle-ground. 
Never was the soil of Italy trampled by a greater con- 
course of men or by a larger body of cavalry in arms. 
For men dreaded the destruction of nation and capital 
ahke ; and there was no prospect of ever fighting a 
second battle." 

The Rutulians, descendants of Faunus, aided by 
Sicanians, came to battle ; these are a sacred band, 
who dwell in the realm of Daunus,^ and rejoice in the 
dwellings of Laurentum and the stream of the 
Numicius ; they were sent forth by Castrum and by 
Ardea once hostile to Trojans, and by Lanuvium, 
the home of Juno that lies on the side of a steep hill ; 
and by Collatia, the nurse of chaste Brutus.'' They 
also came who love the grove of pitiless <* Diana 
and the mouths of the Tuscan river,* and wash 
Cybele's image in the warm stream of Almo. Next 
came Tibur, the city of Catillus ; and Praeneste, 
whose sacred hill is dedicated to Fortune ; and 
Antemna, more ancient than even Crustumium ; and 
the men of Labicum, handy with the plough ; and 
also those who drink the water of imperial Tiber ; and 
those who dwell on the banks of the Anio, and draw 
water from chill Simbruvius,^ and harrow the fields of 
Aequicola. All these were led by Scaurus " ; and though 
Scaurus was but youthful then, his youth already 
gave promise of undying fame ; his men were not 
wont to hurl the spear-shaft in battle, or to fill quivers 

" This is a tribute to members of the family who gained 
distinction later, especially M. Aemilius Scaurus, consul in 
115 and 108 b.c, and censor. 

419 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

pila volunt brevibusque habiles mucronibus enses ; 
aere caput tecti surgunt super agmina cristis. 375 

At, quos ipsius mensis seposta Lyaei 
Setia et e celebri ^ miserunt valle Velitrae, 
quos Cora, quos spumans immiti Signia musto, 
et quos pestifera Pomptini uligine campi, 
qua Saturae nebulosa palus restagnat, et atro 380 
liventes coeno per squalida turbidus arva 
cogit aquas Ufens atque inficit aequora limo, 
ducit avis pollens nee dextra indignus avorum 
Scaevola, cui dirae caelatur laudis honora 
effigie clipeus : flagrant altaribus ignes, 385 

Tyrrhenum valli medio stat Mucins ira 
in semet versa, saevitque in imagine virtus : 
tanta ictus specie finire hoc bella magistro 
cernitur effugiens ardentem Porsena dextram. 

Quis Circaea iuga et scopulosi verticis Anxur 390 
Hernicaque impresso raduntur vomere saxa, 
quis putri pinguis sulcaris Anagnia gleba, 
Sulla Ferentinis Privernatumque maniplis 
ducebat simul excitis ; Soraeque inventus 
addita fulgebat telis. hie Scaptia pubes, 395 

hie Fabrateriae vulgus ; nee monte nivoso 
descendens Atina aberat detritaque bellis 
Suessa atque a duro Frusino hand Imbellis aratro. 
at, qui Fibreno miscentem flumina Lirim 
sulphureum tacitisque vadis ad litora lapsum 400 

^ e celebri Heinsius : incelebri edd. 



<• Bacchus. 

*' Mucius Scaevola, having failed to stab Lars Porsena, 
burnt his own hand in the fire ; and his action made the 
invader retreat from Rome. * Formiae. 

** Suessa Pometia, the chief town of the Volscians, was 
repeatedly sacked by the early Romans. 
420 



1^^ with fea 



PUNICA, VIII. 374-400 



with feathered arrows ; they prefer the pilum and 
handy short-bladed sword ; they wear helmets of 
bronze, and their phimes wave above the ranks. 

Setia, whose vintage is reserved for the table of 
Lyaeus « himself, sent her men, and so did the valley 
of Velitrae well known to fame, and Cora, and Signia 
whose foaming wine is bitter ; and the Pomptine 
marshes that breed disease, where the misty swamp 
of Satura covers the land, and the dark Ufens drives 
his black and muddy current through unsightly 
fields and dyes the sea with slime. These were led 
by Scaevola, nobly born and in courage not unworthy 
of his ancestors. Carved upon his shield was a 
picture of that dreadful deed of heroism ^ : the fire 
blazed on the altar, and Mucius stood in the centre 
of the Tuscan camp and turned his rage against him- 
self ; and his ruthless courage was seen in the carving. 
Cowed by such a sight, and taught by such an ex- 
ample, Porsena was shown, abandoning the war and 
flying from that burning hand. 

Sulla led to war the men who till the heights of Circe*' 
and the steep hill of Anxur, and the Hernicans who 
drive the ploughshare deep into their stony ground, and 
those who furrow the rich crumbling soil of Anagnia ; 
and he summoned also the men of Ferentinum 
and Privernum ; and the fighting men of Sora were 
there too with glittering arms. Here were the men 
of Scaptia and of Fabrateria ; nor did Atina fail 
to come down from its snow-clad height, nor Suessa, 
lessened by wars,^ nor Frusino, trained to battle by 
the labour of the plough. Then the hardy men of 
Arpinum, dwellers by the Liris, which mingles its 
sulphurous waters with the Fibrenus and runs with 
silent course to the sea, rose up in arms, bringing 

421 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

accolit, Arpinas, accita pube Venafro 

ac Larinatum dextris, socia hispidus arma 

commovet atque viris ingens exhaurit Aquinum. 

Tullius aeratas raptabat in agmina turmas, 

regia progenies et Tullo sanguis ab alto. 405 

indole pro quanta iuvenis quantumque daturus 

Ausoniae populis ventura in saeeula civem ! 

ille, super Gangen, super exauditus et Indos, 

implebit terras voce et furialia bella 

fulmine compescet linguae nee deinde relinquet 410 

par decus eloquio cuiquam sperare nepotum. 

Ecce inter primos Therapnaeo a sanguine Clausi 
exult at rapidis Nero non imitabilis ausis. 
hunc Amiterna cohors et Bactris nomina ducens 
Casperia, hunc Foruli magnaeque Reate dicatum 415 
caelicolum Matri necnon habitata pruinis 
Nursia et a Tetrica comitantur rupe cohortes. 
cunctis hasta decus clipeusque retortus in orbem 
conique implumes et laevo tegmina crure. 
ibant et laeti pars Sancum voce canebant, 420 

auctorem gentis, pars laudes ore ferebat, 
Sabe, tuas, qui de proprio cognomine primus 
dixisti populos magna dicione Sabinos. 

Quid, qui Picenae stimulat telluris alumnos, 
horridus et squamis et equina Curio crista, 425 

pars belli quam magna venit ! non aequore verso 
tam creber fractis albescit fluctus in undis, 
nee coetu leviore, ubi mille per agmina virgo 

« Tullus Attius was an ancient king of the Volscians. 

* M. Tullius Cicero was a native of Arpinum. 

* A reference to Cicero's speeches against Catiline and 
against M. Antonius. 

^ Attus Clausus, supposed to be of Spartan descent, mi- 
grated from the Sabine country to Rome, and founded the 
famous Claudian family : see xiii. 466 ; xvii. 33. 
422 



PUNICA, VIII. 401-428 

with them fighters from Venafrum and Larinum, and 
draining mighty Aquinum of its men. Their mail- 
clad squadrons were sped to battle by Tullius, the 
son of kings and descended from Tullus<» of old. 
How noble was his youthful promise ! and how 
great the immortal descendant ^ he was to give 
to Italy ! That voice shall fill the earth and be 
heard beyond the Ganges and the peoples of India ; 
with the thunders of his tongue Cicero shall quell 
the frenzy of war,*' and shall leave behind him 
a renown that no orator of after times can hope to 
equal. 

But lo ! Nero rides proudly among the foremost, 
with the Spartan blood of Clausus^ in his veins, and 
unrivalled in swift deeds of valour. With him come 
the soldiers of Amiterna, and Casperia that takes 
its name from Bactra,* and Foruli, and Reate sacred 
to the great Mother of the Gods, and Nursia the 
abode of snow, and warriors from rocky Tetricus. 
All these carry spears and rounded shields ; their 
helmets have no plume, and they wear greaves on 
the left leg. As they marched, some of them raised 
a song in honour of Sancus, the founder of their race, 
while others praised Sabus, who first gave his name 
to the wide dominion of the Sabines. 

And what of Curio, bristling with scale-armour and 
plume of horse-hair — Curio, a host in himself, who 
urged on the men of Picenum ? Thick and fast they 
come, like the billows on a stormy sea that whiten 
amid the breaking waves ; less active are the riders, 
when the Warrior Maid^ with the crescent-shaped 

« Bactra stands for the East : there was a town and district 
in India, whose name was not unUke, Casperia. 

f Penthesilea, the queen of the Amazons : see note to it. 73. 

423 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

lunatis acies imitatur Martia peltis, 

perstrepit et tellus et Amazonius Thermodon. 430 

hie et, quos pascunt scopulosae rura Numanae, 

et quis litoreae fumant altaria Cuprae, 

quique Truentinas servant cum flumine turres, 

cernere erat ; clipeata procul sub sole corusco 

agmina sanguinea vibrant in nubila luce. 435 

Stat fucare colus nee Sidone vilior Ancon 

murice nee Libyco ; statque humectata Vomano 

Hadria et inclemens hirsuti signifer Ascli. 

hoc Picus quondam, nomen memorabile ab alto 

Saturno, statuit genitor, quem carmine Circe 440 

exutum formae volitare per aethera iussit 

et sparsit croeeum plumis fugientis honorem. 

ante, ut fama docet, tellus possessa Pelasgis, 

quis Aesis regnator erat fluvioque reliquit 

nomen et a sese populos tum dixit Asilos. 445 

Sed non ruricolae firmarunt robore castra 
deteriore, eavis venientes montibus, Umbri. 
hos Aesis Sapisque lavant rapidasque sonanti 
vertice eontorquens undas per saxa Metaurus, 
et lavat ingentem perfundens flumine sacro 450 

Clitumnus taurum Narque, albescentibus undis 
in Thybrim properans, Tiniaeque inglorius humor 
et Clanis et Rubico et Senonum de nomine Sena, 
sed pater ingenti medios illabitur amne 
Albula et admota perstringit moenia ripa. 455 

Iiis urbes Arna et laetis Mevania pratis, 
Hispellum et duro monti per saxa recumbens 

" A river of Pontus that flows into the Black Sea. 

^ Picus was an ancient king of Italy with prophetic 
powers, whom Circe turned into a woodpecker, because he 
refused her love. '^ See note to iv. 545. 

** The ancient name of the Tiber. 
424 



PUNICA, VIII. 429-457 

shield reviews her thousand squadrons in mimic war- 
fare, till the earth resounds, andThermodon " too, the 
river of the Amazons. Here might be seen the men 
whom the fields of rocky Numana feed, and those 
for whom the altar of Cupra smokes by the shore, and 
those w ho guard the towers and rivers of Truentum ; 
their shielded ranks glitter afar in the sunlight and 
throw a blood-red- radiance skyward. Here stood 
Ancona, which rivals Sidon and the purple of Libya in 
the dyeing of cloth ; and here stood Hadria washed 
by the Vomanus, and here the fierce standard- 
bearers of wooded Asculum. Picus,^ the famous son 
of ancient Saturn, was the father and founder of 
Asculum long ago — Picus whom Circe by her spells 
deprived of human shape, and sentenced to fly about 
in the sky ; and she speckled his feathers with bright 
saffron colour as he fled from her. Legend tells that 
the land was possessed earlier by Pelasgians, the 
subjects of Aesis who left his name to a river and 
called his people after himself by the name of Asili. 

But the Umbrians, dwellers in the country, brought 
no less strength to the Roman army, when they came 
from their hills and valleys. Their rivers are the 
Aesis and the Sapis, and the Metaurus which drives 
its rapid stream over rocks in noisy eddies ; and there 
Clitumnus bathes in its sacred waters the mighty 
bull '^ ; and there is the Nar whose pale waves hasten 
to the Tiber, and the Tinia unknown to fame, and the 
Clanis, and the Rubicon, and the Sena named after 
the Senones. But Father Albula** flows through 
their midst with his mighty stream and grazes 
their walls and brings near his banks. The 
Umbrian towns are Arna, Mevania of rich pastures, 
Hispellum, Narnia that lies among the rocks on the 

425 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Narnia et infestum ncbulis humentibus olim 
Iguvium patuloque iacens sine moenibus arvo 
Fulginia ; his populi fortes : Amerinus et, armis 460 
vel rastris laudande Gamers, his Sassina, dives 
lactis, et haud parei Martem coluisse Tudertes. 
ductor Piso viros spernaces mortis agebat, 
ora puer pulcherque habitum, sed corde sagaci 
aequabat senium atque astii superaverat annos. 465 
is primam ante aciem pictie radiabat in armis, 
Arsacidum ut fulvo micat ignea gemma monili. 
lamque per Etruscos legio completa maniplos 
rectorem magno spectabat nomine Galbam. 
huic genus orditur Minos illusaque tauro 470 

Pasiphae, clarique dehinc stant ordine patres. 
lectos Caere viros, lectos Cortona, superbi 
Tarchonis domus, et veteres misere Graviscae. 
necnon Argolico dilectum Htus Halaeso 
Alsium et obsessae campo squalente Fregenae. 475 
afFuit et, sacris interpres fulminis alis, 
Faesula et, antiquus Romanis moenibus horror, 
Clusinum vulgus ; cum, Porsena magne, iubebas 
nequiquam pulsos Romae imperitare Superbos. 
tunc, quos a niveis exegit Luna metallis, 480 

insignis portu, quo non spatiosior alter 
innumeras cepisse rates et claudere pontum, 
Maeoniaeque decus quondam Vetulonia gentis. 
bissenos haec prima dedit praecedere fasces 
et iunxit totidem tacito terrore secures ; 485 

" The name of Arsaces was borne by a long succession 
of Parthian kings ; and the Parthian people are often called 
Arsacidae. 

* One bearer of the name was Roman emperor for a few 
weeks a.d. 69. 
426 



PUNICA, VIII. 458-486 

rough mountain-side, Iguvium that damp mists 
formerly made unhealthy, and Fulginia that stands 
unwalled on the open plain. These sent good soldiers 
— Amerians, Camertes famous alike with sword or 
plough, men of Sassina rich in flocks, and men of 
Tuder, no laggards in war. These death-defying 
warriors were led by Piso, with the face of a boy and 
fair to see ; but he had all the wisdom of age and wit 
beyond his years. In the front rank he stood, a 
splendid figure in shining armour, even as a fiery 
jewel ghtters on the golden collar of a Parthian king.<* 
Another army manned by Etruscan warriors obeyed 
Galba ^ of glorious name. Minos, and Pasiphae 
whom the bull deceived, were the authors of his line, 
and his ancestors who followed in order were famous 
too. The choicest of their men were sent by Caere 
and Cortona, the seat of proud Tarchon," and by 
ancient Graviscae. Alsium too sent men, the city 
by the sea that Halaesus the Argive loved ; and 
Fregenae, girt about by a barren plain. Faesula also 
was present — Faesula that can interpret the winged 
lightning of heaven ; and the people of Clusium, 
terrible once to the walls of Rome, when great Porsena 
in vain required of the Romans to obey the tyrants 
they had expelled. Then Luna sent out fighters from 
her marble quarries — Luna, whose famous harbour, as 
large as any, shuts out the sea and shelters countless 
vessels ; and V^etulonia, once the pride of the Lydian <* 
race. From that city came the twelve bundles of 
rods that are borne before the consul, and also the 
twelve axes with their silent menace ; she adorned 

' Tarchon was said to have come with Telephus from Asia 
to Italy, where he founded the Twelve Cities of Etruria. 
** i.e. Etruscan : see note to iv. 721. 

427 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

haec altas eboris decoravit honore curules 

et princeps Tyrio vestem praetexuit ostro ; 

haec eadem pugnas accendere protulit aere. 

his mixti Nepesina cohors Aequique Falisci, 

quique tuos, Flavina, focos, Sabatia quique 490 

stagna tenent Ciminique lacum, qui Sutria tecta 

haud procul et sacrum Phoebo Soracte frequentant. 

spicula bina gerunt ; capiti cudone ferino 

sat cautum ; Lycios damnant hastiUbus arcus. 

Hae bellare acies norant ; at Marsica pubes 495 
et bellare manu et chelydris cantare soporem 
vipereumque herbis hebetare et carmine dentem. 
Aeetae prolem, Angitiam mala gramina primam 
monstravisse ferunt tactuque domare venena 
et lunam excussisse polo, stridoribus amnes 500 

frenantem, ac silvis montes nudasse vocatis. 
sed populis nomen posuit metuentior hospes, 
cum fugeret Phrygias trans aequora Marsya Crenas, 
Mygdoniam Phoebi superatus pectine loton. 
Marruvium, veteris celebratum nomine Marri, 505 
urbibus est illis caput, interiorque per udos 
Alba sedet campos pomisque rependit aristas. 
cetera in obscuro famae et sine nomine vulgi 
sed numero castella valent. coniungitur acer 
Pelignus, gelidoque rapit Sulmone cohortes. 510 

Nee cedit studio Sidicinus sanguine miles, 
quern genuere Cales : non parvus conditor urbi, 



* The Lycians, like the Cretans, were famous archers. 

" See i. 412. 

" A sister of Circe's and possessing like powers. 

** He was defeated by Apollo in a musical contest. 

* Phrygian. 

428 




PUNICA, VIll. 486-512 

the high curule chairs with the beauty of ivory, and 
first bordered the robe of office with Tyrian purple ; 
and the brazen trumpet which inflames the warrior 
was her invention also. Together with these came 
the men of Nepete, and the Aequi of Falerium, and 
the inhabitants of Flavina, and men who dwell by the 
Sabatian lakes and the Ciminian mere, and their 
neighbours from Sutrium, and those who haunt 
Soracte, the sacred hill of Phoebus. Each carries 
two spears ; a wild beast's skin is protection enough 
for their heads ; their spears despise the bow of 
Lycia.<* 

All these knew how to make war ; but the Marsi 
could not only fight but could also send snakes to 
sleep by charms,^ and rob a serpent's tooth of its 
venom by simples and spells. They say that Angitia," 
daughter of Aeetes, first revealed to them magic 
herbs, and taught them to tame vipers by handling 
them, to drive the moon from the sky, to arrest the 
course of rivers by their muttering, and to strip the 
hills by calling down the forests. But this people got 
their name from Marsyas,<* the settler who fled in 
fright across the sea from Phrygian Crenai, when the 
Mygdonian * pipe was defeated by Apollo's lyre. 
Marruvium, which bears the famous name of ancient 
Marrus, is the chief of their cities ; and further inland 
lies Alba in water-meadows, and compensates by its 
orchards for the lack of corn. Their other strongholds, 
though unknown to fame and with no name among 
the people, are formidable by their number. The 
Pelignians were forward to join the rest, and brought 
their troops in haste from chilly Sulmo. 

No less zealous were the natives of Sidicinum, 
whose mother-city is Cales. Cales had no mean 

VOL. I P 429 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ut fama est, Calais, Boreae quern rapta per auras 

Orithyia vago Geticis nutrivit in antris. 

haud ullo levior bellis Vestina iuventus 515 

agmina densavit, venatu dura ferarum ; 

quae, Fiscelle, tuas arces Pinnamque virentem 

pascuaque haud tarde redeuntia tondet Aveiae ; 

Marrucina simul, Frentanis aemula pubes, 

Corfini populos magnumque Teate trahebat. 520 

omnibus in pugnam fertur sparus, omnibus alto 

assuetae volucrem caelo demittere fundae. 

pectora pellis obit caesi venatibus ursi. 

lam vero, quos dives opum, quos dives avorum 
e toto dabat ad bellum Campania tractu, 525 

ductorum adventum vicinis sedibus Osci 
servabant ; Sinuessa tepens fluctuque sonorum 
Vulturnum, quasque evertere silentia, Amyclae 
Fundique et regnata Lamo Caieta domusque 
Antiphatae, compressa freto, stagnisque palustre 530 
Liternum et quondam fatorum conscia Cyme, 
illic Nuceria et Gaurus, navalibus acta 
prole Diearchea ; multo cum milite Graia 
illic Parthenope ac Poeno non pervia Nola, 
Allifae et Clanio contemptae semper Acerrae. 535 
Sarrastes etiam populos totasque videres 
Sarni mitis opes ; illic, quos sulphure pingues 

<» A daughter of Erechtheus, king of Athens, she was 
carried off by Boreas to his northern kingdom. 

* This apphes not to a Campanian city but to the mother- 
city, Amyclae in Laconia. After many false alarms, they 
passed a law that no one should mention the subject of in- 
vasion. Hence, when the Spartans came, no one dared 
announce their approach, and the town was taken (about 800 

B.C.). 

" The Greek name of Cumae, where the Sibyl had her 
cave. 
430 



PUNICA, VIII. 513-637 

founder — even Calais, who, as legend tells, was 
nurtured in Thracian caves by Orithyia,** when she 
was carried off by the blast of wanton Boreas through 
the sky. The Vestini, inferior to none as fighters, and 
hardened by hunting wild animals, came in serried 
ranks ; their flocks graze on the heights of Fiscellus 
and green Pinna, and in the meadows of Aveia that 
are quick to grow again. The Marrucini likewise, 
in rivalry with Frentani, brought with them the in- 
habitants of Corfinium, and great Teate. All these 
carried a pike to battle, and all carried slings that 
had struck down many a bird high in air. For 
corslets they wore the skins of bears slain by the 
hunters. 

Moreover the Oscans, whom Campania, rich in 
wealth and ancient blood, sent to battle from all her 
wide domain, were waiting close by for the coming 
of their leaders : Sinuessa of warm springs, and Vul- 
turnum within sound of the sea, and Amyclae which 
silence once destroyed^ ; Fundi, and Caieta where 
Lamus once was king, and the home of Antiphates 
shut in by the sea ; Liternum with its marshy 
pools, and Cyme " which could once foretell the 
future. There were seen Nuceria and Gaurus ; and 
the sons of Dicaearchus were sent forth from their 
arsenal ^ ; Greek Parthenope * was there, with many 
a man-at-arms, and Nola, barred against Hannibal'; 
AUifae also, and Acerrae, ever mocked at' by the 
Clanius. One might have seen too the Sarrastian 
men and all the assembled might of the gentle Samus. 
There were the chosen men from the Phlegraean 

^ Puteoli. • Naples. 

f He was beaten off from Nola in 215 b.c. 

y The river threatened always to submerge the town. 

431 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Phlegraei legere sinus, Misenus et ardens 

ore giganteo sedes Ithacesia Bai ; 

non Prochyte, non ardentem sortita Typhoea 640 

Inarime, non antiqui saxosa Telonis 

insula, nee parvis aberat Calatia muris ; 

Surrentum et pauper sulci eerealis Abella ; 

in primis Capua, heu rebus servare serenis 

inconsulta modum et pravo peritura tumore ! 545 

Laetos rectoris formabat Scipio bello. 
ille viris pila et ferro cireumdare pectus 
addiderat ; leviora domo de more parentum 
gestarant tela, ambustas sine cuspide cornos ; 
aclydis usus erat factaeque ad rura bipennis. 550 

ipse inter medios venturae ingentia laudis 
signa dabat, vibrare sudem, tramittere saltu 
murales fossas, undosum frangere nando 
indutus thoraca vadum ; spectacula tanta 
ante acies virtutis erant. saepe alite planta 555 

ilia perfossum et campi per aperta volantem, 
ipse pedes, praevertit equum ; saepe arduus idem 
castrorum spatium et saxo tramisit et hasta ; 
Martia frons facilesque comae nee pone retroque 
caesaries brevior ; flagrabant lumina miti 560 

aspectu, gratusque inerat visentibus horror. 

AfFuit et Samnis, nondum vergente favore 
ad Poenos, sed nee veteri purgatus ab ira : 



* The volcanic district on the Campanian coast. 

* Baiae on that coast, famous for its hot springs, was sup- 
posed to have got its name from Baius, one of the crew of 
Ulysses. Prochyta (now Procida) and Inarime (now Ischia) 
are islands on the same coast. The volcanic eruptions were 
attributed to the giants imprisoned below the islands. 

" Capri. 

^ The capital city of Campania. 

432 




PUNICA, VIII. 538-663 

bays rich in sulphur,** and from Misenus, and from 
the seat of Baius the Ithacan with its mighty red-hot 
crater. Prochyte was not absent, nor Inarime, the 
place appointed for ever-burning Typhoeus,^ nor the 
rocky isle « of ancient Telo, nor Calatia of the httle 
walls. Surrentum was there, and Abella ill-provided 
with corn-fields ; and Capua ^ above all ; but she, alas, 
knew not how to observe moderation in prosperity, 
and her wicked pride went before a fall.* 

Scipio ^ trained the Campanians for war, and they 
were proud of their leader. He had given them 
javelins and iron corslets ; at home they had carried 
lighter weapons after the fashion of their fathers — 
made of wood hardened in the fire and with no iron 
point ; they used the club and the axe, the country- 
man's tool. In their midst Scipio gave splendid 
promise of his future fame, hurhng stakes, leaping 
trenches under city-walls, and stemming the billows 
of the sea with his breastplate on ; such the display of 
vigour he gave before the ranks. Often his flying 
feet outstripped a courser as it flew, cruelly spurred, 
over the open plain ; often, rising to his full height, he 
threw stone or spear beyond the limits of the camp. 
He had a martial brow and flowing hair ; nor was the 
hair at the back of his head shorter. His eyes burned 
bright, but their regard was mild ; and those who 
looked upon him were at once awed and pleased. 

The Samnites^ too there were ; their allegiance 
was not yet turning towards the Carthaginians, but 
they still cherished their ancient grudge. Here were 

« Capua, having revolted to Hannibal, was captured by 
the Romans in 21 1 b.c. ' Africanus. 

" A Sabine people, inveterate enemies of Rome in her 
early history : after Cannae they joined Hannibal. 

VOL. I p 2 4-33 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

qui Batulum Nucrasque metunt, Boviania quique 
exagitant lustra, aut Caudinis faucibus haerent, 665 
et quos aut Rufrae, quos aut Aesernia, quosve 
obscura incultis Herdonia misit ab agris. 

Bruttius, haud dispar animorum, unaque iuventus 
Lucanis excita iugis Hirpinaque pubes 
horrebat telis et tergo hirsuta ferarum. 670 

hos venatus alit : lustra incoluere sitimque 
avertunt fluvio, somnique labore parantur. 

Additur his Calaber Sallentinaeque cohortes 
necnon Brundisium, quo desinit Itala tellus. 
parebat legio audaci permissa Cethego. 675 

qui socias vires atque indiscreta maniplis 
arma recensebat : nunc sese ostendere miles 
Leucosiae e scopulis, nunc, quern Picentia Paesto 
misit et exhaustae mox Poeno Marte Cerillae, 
nunc Silarus quos nutrit aquis, quo gurgite tradunt 
duritiem lapidum mersis inolescere ramis. 581 

ille et pugnacis laudavit tela Salerni, 
falcatos enses, et, quae Buxentia pubes 
aptabat dextris, irrasae robora clavae. 
ipse, humero exsertus gentili more parentum, 585 
difficili gaudebat equo roburque iuventae 
flexi cornipedis duro exercebat in ore. 

Vos etiam, accisae desolataeque virorum 
Eridani gentes, nuUo attendente deorum 
votis tunc vestris, casura ruistis in arma. 590 

certavit Mutinae quassata Placentia bello ; 



<* The Caudine Forks was a narrow pass in which a Roman 
army suiFered an ignominious defeat at the hands of the 
Samnites in 321 b.c. 

* It was a custom with the family of the Cethegi to wear no 
tunic under the toga, so that the arms were bare. 

« The inhabitants of Cisalpine Gaul, on both sides of the 
434 



b 



PUNICA, VIII. 564-591 



the reapers of Batulum and Nucrae, the hunters of 
Bovianum, the dwellers in the gorge of Caudium,<» 
and those whom Rufrae or Aesernia or unknown 
Herdonia sent from her untilled fields. 

The Bruttians, inferior to none in spirit, and also 
the men called forth from the Lucanian hills, and the 
Hirpini, carried pointed weapons and were shaggy 
with the hides of beasts. They get their living by 
hunting ; they live in the forest, and slake their 
thirst in the rivers, and earn their sleep by toil. 

To these were added the Calabrians, and the troops 
of Sallentia, and of Brundisium where Italy comes 
to an end. These troops were given to bold Cethegus 
as commander ; and he reviewed their united 
strength, not broken up into companies. Here men 
from the rocks of Leucosia showed themselves, and 
those whom Picentia sent from Paestum ; and men 
of Cerillae, which was afterwards depopulated by the 
enemy ; and people fed by the water of the Silarus, 
which has power, men say, to turn into stone branches 
dipped in it. Cethegus praised the sickle-shaped 
swords with which the fighting Salernians are armed, 
and the rough oaken clubs which the men of Buxen- 
tum suited to their grasp. He himself, with his 
shoulder bared in the manner of his fathers,^ took 
pleasure in his unruly steed, and exerted his youth- 
ful strength in forcing the hard-mouthed horse to 
turn in circles. 

Ye too, the peoples of the river Po, though sore 
smitten and bereft of your men,*' rushed forth now 
to battle and defeat, and no god hearkened to your 
prayers. Placentia, though crippled by the war, vied 

Po, had suflfered severely from Hannibal on his first arrival in 
Italy. 

485 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Mantua mittenda certavit pube Cremonae, 

Mantua, Musarum domus atque ad sidera cantu 

evecta Aonio et Smyrnaeis aemula plectris. 

turn Verona, Athesi circumflua, et undique sellers 595 

arva coronantem nutrire Faventia pinum. 

Vercellae fuscique ferax PoUentia villi 

et, quondam Teucris comes in Laurentia bella, 

Ocni prisca domus parvique Bononia Rheni. 

quique gravi remo, limosis segniter undis, 600 

lenta paludosae proscindunt stagna Ravennae. 

turn Troiana manus, tellure antiquitus orti 

Euganea profugique sacris Antenoris oris. 

necnon cum Venetis Aquileia superfluit armis. 

tum pernix Ligus et sparsi per saxa Vagenni 605 

in decus Hannibalis duros misere nepotes. 

maxima tot populis rector fiducia Brutus 

ibat et hortando notum accendebat in hostem. 

laeta viro gravitas ac mentis amabile pondus 

et sine tristitia virtus : non ille rigoris 610 

ingratas laudes nee nubem frontis amabat 

nee famam laevo quaerebat limite vitae. 

Addiderat ter mille viros, in Marte sagittae 
expertos, fidus Sicula regnator ab Aetna. 

<» Mantua was the birthplace of Virgil, for whom Silius 
had a special devotion. wSmyrna was one of the seven cities 
which claimed to be the birthplace of Homer. 

'' Aeneas and his men. 

" The people of Patavium (now Padua) are meant here : 
legend said that Patavium was founded after the Trojan war 
by Antenor, who expelled the original inhabitants, the 
Euganeans. 

" Inhabitants of the Riviera are meant, 
4S6 



I 



r 

P with Ml 



PUNICA, VIII. 692-614 



with Mutina ; and Cremona sent forth her sons i n 
rivalry with Mantua — Mantua, the home of the 
Muses, raised to the skies by immortal verse, and a 
match for the lyre of Homer.** Men came from 
Verona too, round which flows the Athesis ; from 
Faventia, skilful to nurture the pine-trees that grow 
everywhere round her fields ; and Vercellae, with 
PoUentia rich in dusky fleeces ; and Bononia of the 
little Rhine ; the ancient seat of Ocnus, which went 
to war long ago with the Troj ans * against Laurentum. 
Then came the men of Ravenna, who paddle slowly 
with heavy oars over muddy waters, as they cleave 
the stagnant pools of their marshes. There was also 
a band of Trojans, coming from the Euganean country 
in ancient times and driven forth from the sacred soil 
of Antenor.*' Aquileia too together with the Veneti 
was full to overflowing with troops. The active 
Ligurians, and the Vagenni <* who dwell scattered 
among rocks, sent their hardy sons to swell the triumph 
of Hannibal. All these peoples had Brutus for their 
leader and relied entirely upon him ; and his appeals 
roused their spirit against a foe they knew already. 
Though dignified, Brutus was genial ; his powerful 
intellect won men's hearts, and there was nothing 
forbidding in his virtue. To wear a frowning brow, 
or win a thankless reputation for severity, was not 
his way : nor did he court notoriety by a perverse 
course of life.* 

Three thousand men, skilled archers, had also been 
sent by the loyal king * from Etna in Sicily ; and 

• It is a plausible suggestion that Stilus here describes a 
later Brutus, the friend of Cicero and conspirator against 
Caesar : he was a Stoic without the asperities of Stoicism. 

' Hiero II., king of Syracuse. 

437 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

non totidem II va viros, sed laetos cingere ferrum 615 
armarat patrio, quo nutrit bella, metallo. 

Ignosset, quamvis avido committere pugnam, 
Varroni, quicumque simul tot tela videret. 
tantis agminibus Rhoeteo litore quondam 
fervere, cum magnae Troiam invasere Mycenae, 620 
mille rates vidit Leandrius Hellespontus. 

Ut ventum ad Cannas, urbis vestigia priscae, 
defigunt diro signa infelicia vallo. 
nee, tanta miseris iamiam impendente ruina, 
cessarunt superi vicinas prodere clades. 625 

per subitum attonitis pila exarsere maniplis, 
et celsae toto ceciderunt aggere pinnae, 
nutantique mens prostravit vertice silvas 
Garganus, fundoque imo mugivit anhelans 
Aufidus, et magno late distantia ponto 630 

terruerunt pavidos accensa Ceraunia nautas. 
quaesivit Calaber, subducta luce repente 
immensis tenebris, et terram et litora Sipus ; 
obseditque frequens castrorum limina bubo, 
nee densae trepidis apium se involvere nubes 635 
cessarunt aquilis ; non unus crine corusco, 
regnorum eversor, rubuit letale cometes. 
castra quoque et vallum rabidae sub nocte silent! 
irrupere ferae raptique ante ora paventum 
adiunctos vigilis sparserunt membra per agros. 640 
ludificante etiam terroris imagine somnos, 
Gallorum visi bustis erumpere manes ; 

" The island of Elba, to which Napoleon was banished. 

* The royal city of Agamemnon. 

* So called because Leander swam across it, 

«» See note to iv. 561. * See note to v. 386. 

' The Greek name of Sipontum, a harbour south of 
Mt. Garganus. 
438 



PUNICA, VIII. 615-642 

Ilva <* had armed with her native iron, on which war 
thrives, fewer men, but all of them eager to gird on 
the sword. 

Any man who had seen so great an army mustered 
might have pardoned Varro's eagerness to fight a 
battle. In ancient times when great Mycenae * 
attacked Troy, Leander's " Hellespont saw a thousand 
ships swarm with as huge a host on the shore of 
Rhoeteum. 

When the Romans reached Cannae, built on the 
site of a former city, they planted their doomed 
standards on a rampart of evil omen. Nor, when 
such destruction was hanging over their unhappy 
heads, did the gods fail to reveal the coming disaster. 
Javehns blazed up suddenly in the hands of astounded 
soldiers ; high battlements fell down along the length 
of the ramparts ; Mount Garganus,** collapsing with 
tottering summit, overset its forests ; the Aufidus 
rumbled in its lowest depths and roared ; and 
far away across the sea seamen were scared by 
fire burning on the Ceraunian* mountains. Light 
was suddenly withdrawn, and the Calabrian mariners, 
plunged in darkness, looked in vain for the shore and 
land of Sipus ^ ; and many a screech-owl beset the 
gates of the camp. Thick swarms of bees constantly 
twined themselves about the terrified standards, and 
the bright hair of more than one comet, the portent 
that dethrones monarchs, showed its baleful glare. 
Wild beasts also in the silence of night burst through 
the rampart into the camp, snatched up a sentry 
before the eyes of his frightened comrades, and 
scattered his limbs over the adjacent fields. Sleep 
also was mocked by terrible images : men dreamt 
that the ghosts of the Gauls were breaking forth from 

439 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

terque quaterque solo penitus tremuere revulsae 
Tarpeiae rupes, atque atro sanguine flumen 
manavit lovis in templis, lacrimaeque vetusta 645 
effigie patris large fluxere Quirini. 
maior et horrificis sese extulit Allia ripis. 
non Alpes sedere loco, non nocte dieve 
ingentes inter stetit Apenninus hiatus, 
axe super medio, Libyes a parte, coruscae 650 

in Latium venere faces, ruptusque fragore 
horrisono polus, et vultus patuere Tonantis. 
Aetnaeos quoque contorquens e cautibus ignes 
Vesvius intonuit, scopulisque in nubila iactis 
Phlegraeus tetigit trepidantia sidera vertex. 655 

Ecce inter medios belli praesagus, et ore 
attonito sensuque simul, clamoribus implet 
miles castra feris et anhelat clade futura : 
** parcite, crudeles superi ; iam stragis acervis 
deficiunt campi ; video per densa volantem 660 

agmina ductorem Libyae currusque citatos 
arma virum super atque artus et signa trahentem. 
turbinibus furit insanis et proelia ventus 
inque oculos inque ora rotat. cadit, immemor aevi, 
nequicquam, Thrasymenne, tuis Servilius oris 665 
subductus. quo, Varro, fugis ? pro lupiter ! ictu 
procumbit saxi, fessis spes ultima, Paulus. 
cesserit huic Trebia exitio. pons ecce cadentum 
corporibus struitur, ructatque cadavera fumans 
Aufidus, ac victrix insultat belua campis. 670 

" The deified Romulus. 

" See note to i. 547. 

* For Phlegra see note to iv. 275 : Phlegraean = volcanic. 

^ The dust of Cannae is historical : blown by a fierce wind 
in the faces of the Romans, it contributed to their defeat: 
see note to ix. 495. 
440 



PUNICA, VIII. 643-670 

their graves. Again and again the Tarpeian rock 
was shaken and wrenched from its very base ; a dark 
stream of blood flowed in the temples of Jupiter ; and 
the ancient image of Father Quirinus <* shed floods of 
tears. The Allia * rose high above its fatal banks. 
The Alps did not keep their place, and the Apennines 
were never still day or night among their vast gorges. 
In the southern sky, bright meteors shot against 
Italy from the direction of Africa ; and the heavens 
burst open with a fearful crash, and the countenance 
of the Thunderer was revealed. Vesuvius also 
thundered, hurling flames worthy of Etna from her 
cliffs ; and the fiery ^ crest, throwing rocks up to the 
clouds, reached to the trembling stars. 

But lo ! in the midst of the army a soldier foretells 
the battle. With distraction in his aspect and his 
brain, he fills the camp with his wild shouting, and 
gasps as he reveals coming disaster : " Spare us, ye 
cruel gods ! The heaps of dead are more than the 
fields can contain ; I see Hannibal speeding through 
the serried ranks and driving his furious chariot over 
armour and human hmbs and standards. The wind 
rages in wild gusts, and drives the dust ^ of battle in 
our faces and eyes. Servilius,* careless of his life, 
is down ; his absence from the field of Trasimene does 
not help him now. Whither is Varro fleeing ? Ye 
gods ! Paulus, the last hope of despairing men, is 
struck down by a stone. Trebia cannot rival this 
destruction. See ! the bodies of the slain form a 
bridge, and reeking Aufidus belches forth corpses, 
and the huge beast ^ treads the plain Wctorious. 

• As consul in the previous year (217 b.c.) he had imitated 
the caution of Fabius. 
' The elephant. 

441 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

gestat Agenoreus nostro de more secures 
consulis, et sparsos lictor fert sanguine fasces, 
in Libyam Ausonii portatur pompa triumphi. 
o dolor ! hoc etiam, superi, vidisse iubetis ? 
congesto, laevae quodcumque avellitur, auro 675 

metitur Latias victrix Carthago ruinas.'* 

" To prove the greatness of his victory, Hannibal sent 
home the gold rings taken from the corpses of the Roman 



449 



PUNICA, VIII. 671-676 

The Carthaginian copies us and carries the consul's 
axes, and his lictors bear blood-stained rods. The 
triumphal procession of the Roman passes from Rome 
to Libya. And, O grief! — do the gods force us to 
witness this also ? — victorious Carthage measures 
the downfall of Rome by all the heap of gold that was 
torn from the left hands of the slain." <* 

nobles : these were poured out in the Carthaginian senate, 
and filled three peck-measures, according to some authorities 
(Livy xxiii. 12. 1). See xi. 532 foil. 



4A$ 



(277) 



Printed in Great Britain by R. & R. Clark, Limited, Edinburgh 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL 
LIBRARY 



VOLUMES ALREADY PUBLISHED 



LATIN AUTHORS 



Ammianus Marcellinus. J. C. Rolfe. 3 Vols. 

Apuleius : The Golden Ass (Metamorphoses). W. Adling- 

ton (1566). Revised by S. Gaselee. 
St. Augustine : City of God. 7 Vols. Vol. I. G. E. 

McCracken. Vol. VI. W. C. Greene. 
St. Augustine, Confessions of. W. Watts (1631). 2 Vols. 
St. Augustine : Select Letters. J. H. Baxter. 
AusoNius. H. G. Evelyn White. 2 Vols. 
Bede. J. E. King. 2 Vols. 
BoETHius : Tracts and De Consolations: Philosophiae. 

Rev. H. F. Stewart and E. K. Rand. 
Caesar : Alexandrian, African and Spanish Wars. A. G. 

Way. 
Caesar : Civil Wars. A. G. Peskett. 
Caesar : Gallic War. H. J. Edwards. 
Cato and Varro : De Re Rustica. H. B. Ash and W. D. 

Hooper. 
Catullus. F. W. Cornish ; Tibullus. J. B. Postgate ; and 

Pervigilium Veneris. J. W. Mackail. 
Celsus : De Medicina. W. G. Spencer. 3 Vols. 
Cicero : Brutus and Orator. G. L. Hendrickson and 

H. M. Hubbell. 
Cicero : De Finibus. H. Rackham. 
Cicero : De Inventione, etc. H. M. Hubbell. 
Cicero : De Natura Deobum and Acadehica. H. Rack- 
ham. 

1 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

Cicero : De Officiis. Walter Miller. 

Cicero : De Oratore, etc. 2 Vols. Vol. I : De Oratore, 

Books I and II. E. W. Sutton and H. Rackham Vol.11: 

De Oratore, Book III ; De Fato ; Paradoxa Stoi- 

CORUM ; De Partitione Oratoria. H. Rackham. 
Cicero : De Republica, De Legibus, Somnium Scipionis. 

Clinton W. Keyes. 
Cicero : De Senectute, De Amicitia, De Divinatione. 

W. A. Falconer. 
Cicero : In Catilinam, Pro Murena, Pro Sulla, Pro 

Flacco. Louis E. Lord. 
Cicero : Letters to Atticus. E. O. Winstedt. 3 Vols. 
Cicero : Letters to his Friends. W. Glynn Williams. 

3 Vols. 
Cicero : Philippics. W. C. A. Ker. 
Cicero : Pro Archia, Post Reditum, De Domo, De Ha- 

RUSPicuM Responsis, Pro Plancio. N. H. Watts. 
Cicero : Pro Caecina, Pro Lege Manilia, Pro Cluentio, 

Pro Rabirio. H. Grose Hodge. 
Cicero : Pro Caelio, De Provinciis Consularibus, Pro 

Balbo. R. Gardner. 
Cicero : Pro Milone, In Pisonem, Pro Scauro, Pro 

FoNTEio, Pro Rabirio Postumo, Pro Marcello, Pro 

LiGARio, Pro Rege Deiotaro. N. H. Watts. 
Cicero : Pro Quinctio, Pro Roscio Amerino, Pro Roscio 

CoMOEDo, Contra Rullum. J. H. Freese. 
Cicero : Pro Sestio, In Vatinium. R. Gardner. 
[Cicero] : Rhetorica ad Herennium. H. Caplan. 
Cicero : Tusculan Disputations. J. E. King. 
Cicero : Verrine Orations. L. H. G. Greenwood. 2 Vols. 
Claudian. M. Platnauer. 2 Vols. 
Columella : De Re Rustica ; De Arboribus. H. B. Ash, 

E. S. Forster, E. Heffner. 3 Vols. 
CuRTius, Q. : History of Alexander. J. C. Rolfe. 2 Vols. 
Florus. E. S. Forster ; and Cornelius Nepos. J. C. Rolfe. 
Frontinus : Stratagems and Aqueducts. C. E. Bennett 

and M. B. McElwain. 
Fronto : Correspondence. C. R. Haines. 2 Vols. 
Gellius. J. C. Rolfe. 3 Vols. 
Horace : Odes and Erodes. C. E. Bennett. 
Horace : Satires, Epistles, Ars Poetica. H. R. Fairclough. 
Jerome : Select Letters. F. A. Wright. 
Juvenal and Persius. G. G. Ramsay. 

2 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

LivY. B. O. Foster, F. G. Moore, Evan T. Sage, A. C. 

Schlesinger and R. M. Geer (General Index). 14 Vols. 
LucAN. J. D. Duff. 
Lucretius. W. H. D. Rouse. 
Martial. W. C. A. Ker. 2 Vols. 
Minor Latin Poets : from Publilius Syrus to Rutilius 

Namatianus, including Grattius, Calpurnius Siculus, 

Nemesianus, Avianus, with " Aetna," " Phoenix " and 

other poems. J. Wight Duff and Arnold M. Duff. 
Ovid : The Art of Love and other Poems. J. H. Moz- 

ley. 
Ovid : Fasti. Sir James G. Frazer. 
Ovid : Heroides and Amores. Grant Showerman. 
Ovid : Metamorphoses. F. J. Miller. 2 Vols. 
Ovid : Tristia and Ex Ponto. A. L. Wheeler. 
Petronius. M. Heseltine ; Seneca : Apocolocyntosis. 

W. H. D. Rouse. 
Plautus. Paul Nixon. 5 Vols. 
Pliny : Letters. Melmoth's translation revised by 

W. M. L. Hutchinson. 2 Vols. 
Pliny : Natural History. 10 Vols. Vols. I-V and IX. 

H. Rackham. Vols. VI and VII. W. H. S. Jones. 
Propertius. H. E. Butler. 
Prudentius. H. J. Thomson. 2 Vols. 
QuiNTiLiAN. H. E. Butler. 4 Vols. 
Remains of Old Latin. E. H. Warmington. 4 Vols. 

Vol. I (Ennius and Caecilius). Vol. II (Livius, Naevius, 

Pacuvius, Accius). Vol. Ill (Lucilius, Laws of the XII 

Tables). Vol. IV (Archaic Inscriptions). 
Sallust. J. C. Rolfe. 

ScRiPTORES Historiae Augustae. D. Magie. 3 Vols. 
Seneca : Apocolocyntosis. Cf. Petronius. 
Seneca : Epistulae Morales. R. M. Gummere. 3 Vols. 
Seneca : Moral Essays. J. W. Basore. 3 Vols. 
Seneca : Tragedies. F. J. Miller. 2 Vols. 
SiDONius : Poems and Letters. W. B. Anderson. 2 Vols. 
SiLius Italicus. J. D. Duff. 2 Vols. 
Statius. J. H. Mozley. 2 Vols. 
Suetonius. J. C. Rolfe. 2 Vols. 
Tacitus : Dialogus. Sir Wm. Peterson ; and Agricola 

and Germania. Maurice Hutton. 
Tacitus : Histories and Annals. C. H. Moore and J. 

Jackson. 4 Vols. 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

Terence. John Sargeaunt. 2 Vols. 

Tertullian : Apologia and De Spectaculis. T. R. Glover ; 

MiNucius Felix. G. H. Rendall. 
Valerius Flaccus. J. H. Mozley. 
Varro : De Lingua Latina. R. G. Kent. 2 Vols. 
Velleius Paterculus and Res Gestae Divi Augusti. 

F. W. Shipley. 
Virgil. H. R. Fairclough. 2 Vols. 
ViTRUVius : De Architectura. F. Granger. 2 Vols. 



GREEK AUTHORS 



Achilles Tatius. S. Gaselee. 

Aelian : On the Nature of Animals. A. F. Scholfield. 
3 Vols. 

Aeneas Tacticus, Asclepiodotus and Onasandeh. The 
Illinois Greek Club. 

Aeschines. C. D. Adams. 

Aeschylus. H. Weir Smyth. 2 Vols. 

Alciphron, Aelian and Philostratus : Letters. A. R, 
Benner and F. H. Fobes. 

Apollodorus. Sir James G. Frazer. 2 Vols. 

Apollonius Rhodius. R. C. Seaton. 

The Apostolic Fathers. Kirsopp Lake. 2 Vols. 

Appian's Roman History. Horace White. 4 Vols. 

Aratus. Cf. Callimachus. 

Aristophanes. Benjamin Bickley Rogers. 3 Vols. Verse 
trans. 

Aristotle : Art of Rhetoric. J. H. Freese. 

Aristotle : Athenian Constitution, Eudemian Ethics, 
Virtues and Vices. H. Rackham. 

Aristotle : Generation of Animals. A. L. Peck. 

Aristotle : Metaphysics. H. Tredennick. 2 Vols. 

Aristotle : Meteorologica. H. D. P. Lee. 

Aristotle : Minor Works. W. S. Hett. " On Colours," 
" On Things Heard," " Physiognomies," " On Plants," 
" On Marvellous Things Heard," " Mechanical Problems," 
" On Indivisible Lines," " Situations and Names of 
Winds," " On Melissus, Xenophanes, and Gorgias." 

Aristotle : Nicomachean Ethics. H. Rackham. 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

Aristotle : Oeconomica and Magna Mohalia. G. C. 

Armstrong. (With Metaphysics, Vol. II.) 
Aristotle : On the Heavens. W. K. C. Guthrie. 
Aristotle : On the Soul, Pahva Naturalia, On Breath. 

W. S. Hett. 
Aristotle: The Categories. On Interpretation. H. P. 

Cooke ; Prior Analytics. II. Tredennick. 
Aristotle : Posterior Analytics. H. Tredennick ; 

Topics. E. S. Forster. 
Aristotle : Sophistical Refutations. Comino-to-be and 

Passing-away. E. S. Forster. On the Cosmos. D. J. 

Furley. 
Aristotle : Parts of Animai^. A. L. Peck ; Motion and 

Progression of Animals. E. S. Forster. 
Aristotle : Physics. Rev. P. Wicksteed and F. M. Corn- 
ford. 2 Vols. 
Aristotle : Poetics ; Longinus on the SuoLiarE. W. 

Hamilton Fyfe ; Demetrius on Style. W. Rhys Roberts. 
Aristotle: Politics. H. Rackham. 
Aristotle : Problems. W. S. Hett. 2 Vols. 
Aristotle: Rhetorica ad Alexandrum. H. Rackham. 

(With Problems, Vol. II.) 
Arhian : History of Alexander and Indica. Rev. E. 

Iliffe Robson. 2 Vols. 
Athenaeus : Deipnosopiiistae. C. B. Gulick. 7 Vols. 
St. Basil : Letters. R. J. Deferrari. 4 Vols. 
Callimachus : Fragments. C. A. Trypanis. 
Callimachus : Hymns and Epigrams, and Lycopiibon. 

A. W. Mair ; Aratus. G. R. Mair. 
Clement of Alexandria. Rev. G. W. Butterworth. 

COLLUTHUS. Cf. OpPIAN. 

Daphnis and Chloe. C/. Longus. 

Demosthenes I : Olynthiacs, Philippics and Minor 

Orations : I-XVH and XX. J. H. Vince. 
Demosthenes II : De Corona and De Falsa Leoationk. 

C. A. Vince and J. H. Vince. 
Demosthenes III : Meidias, Androtion, Ahistochates, 

TiMocRATES, Aristogeiton. J. H. Vincc. 
Demosthenes IV-VI : Private Orations and In Neaebasc 

A. T. Murray. 
Demosthenes VII : Funeral Speech, Erotic Essay, 

Exordia and Letters. N. W. and N. J. DeWitL 
Dio Cassius : Roman History. E. Gary. 9 Vola. 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

Dio Chrysostom. 5 Vols. Vols. I and II. J. W. Cohoon. 

Vol. III. J. W. Cohoon and H. Lamar Crosby. Vols. IV 

and V. H. Lamar Crosby. 
DiODORUs SicuLus. 12 Vols. Vols. I-VI. C. H. Oldfather. 

Vol. VII. C. L. Sherman. Vols. IX and X. Russel M. 

Geer. Vol. XI. F. R. Walton. 
Diogenes Laertius. R. D. Hicks. 2 Vols. 
DioNYSius OF Halicarnassus : Roman Antiquities. Spel- 

man's translation revised by E. Cary. 7 Vols. 
Epictetus. \V. A. Oldfather. 2 Vols. 
Euripides. A. S. Way. 4 Vols. Verse trans. 
EusEBius : Ecclesiastical History. Kirsopp Lake and 

J. E. L. Oulton. 2 Vols. 
Galen : On the Natural Faculties. A. J. Brock. 
The Greek Anthology. W. R. Paton. 5 Vols. 
The Greek Bucolic Poets (Theocritus, Bion, Moschus). 

J. M. Edmonds. 
Greek Elegy and Iambus with the Anacreontea. J. M. 

Edmonds. 2 Vols. 
Greek Mathematical Works. Ivor Thomas. 2 Vols. 
Herodes. Cf. Theophrastus : Characters. 
Herodotus. A. D. Godley. 4 Vols. 
Hesiod and the Homeric Hymns. H. G. Evelyn White. 
Hippocrates and the Fragments of Heracleitus. W. H. S. 

Jones and E. T. Withington. 4 Vols. 
Homer : Iliad. A. T. Murray. 2 Vols. 
Homer : Odyssey. A. T. Murray. 2 Vols. 
IsAEUS. E. S. Forster. 

I SOCRATES. George Norlin and LaRue Van Hook. 3 Vols. 
St. John Damascene : Barlaam and Ioasaph. Rev. G. R. 

Woodward and Harold Mattingly. 
JosEPHUS. H. St. J. Thackeray and Ralph Marcus. 9 Vols. 

Vols. I-VH. 
Julian. Wilmer Cave Wright. 3 Vols. 
Longus : Daphnis and Chloe. Thornley's translation 

revised by J. M. Edmonds; and Pahthenius. S. Gaselee. 
LuciAN. 8 Vols. Vols. I-V. A. M. Harmon; Vol. VI. 

K. Kilburn; Vol. VIII. M. D. Macleod. 
Lycophron. Cf. Callimachus. 
Lyra Graeca. J. M. Edmonds. 3 Vols. 
Lysias. W. R. M. Lamb. 
Manetho. W. G. Waddell ; Ptolemy : Tetrabiblos. F. E, 

Robbins. 

6 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

Marcus Aurelius. C. R. Haines. 

Menander. F. G. Allinson. 

Minor Attic Orators. 2 Vols. K. J. Maidment and 

J. O. Burtt. 
NoNNos : DioNYSiACA. W. H. D. Rouse. 3 Vols. 
Oppian, Colluthus, Tryphiodorus. a. W. Main 
Papyri. Non-Literary Selections. A. S. Hunt and C. C. 

Edgar. 2 Vols. Literary Selections (Poetry). D. L. 

Page. 
Partiienius. Cf. Long us. 
Pausanias : Description of Greece. W. H. S. Jones. 5 

Vols, and Companion Vol. arranged by R. E. Wycher- 

ley. 
Philo. 10 Vols. Vols. I-V. F. H. Colson and Rev. G. H. 

Whitaker ; Vols. VI-IX. F. H. Colson. 

Two Supplementary Vols. Translation only from an 
Armenian Text. Ralph Marcus. 
Philostratus : Imagines ; Callistratus : Descriptions. 

A. Fairbanks. 

Philostratus : The Life of Apollonius of Tyana. F. C. 

Conybeare. 2 Vols. 
Philostratus and Eunapius : Lives of the Sophists, 

Wilmer Cave Wright. 
Pindar. Sir J. E. Sandys. 
Plato : Charmides, Alcibiades, Hipparchus, The Lontirs, 

Theages, Minos and Epinomis. W. R. M. Lamb. 
Plato : Cratylus, Parmenides, Greater Hippias, Lesser 

HippiAS. H. N. Fowler. 
Plato : Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedrus. 

H. N. Fowler. 
Plato : Laches, Protagoras, Meno, Eutiiydemus. 

W. R. M. Lamb. 
Plato : Laws. Rev. R. G. Bury. 2 Vols. 
Plato : Lysis, Symposium, Gorgias. W. R. M. Lamb. 
Plato : Republic. Paul Shorey. 2 Vols. 
Plato : Statesman, Phileous. H. N. Fowler ; Ion. 

W. R. M. Lamb. 
Plato : Theaetetus and Sophist. H. N. Fowler. 
Plato : Timaeus, Critias, Clitopho, Menexenus, Epi- 

STULAE. Rev. R. G. Burv. 
Plutarch : Moralia. 15 Vols. Vols. I-V. F. C. Babbitt ; 

Vol.VL W. C. Helmbold ; Vol. VII. P. H. De Lacy and 

B. Einarson ; Vol. IX. E. L. Minar, Jr., F. H. Sandbach, 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

W. C. Helmbold ; Vol. X. H. N. Fowler ; Vol. XII. H. 
Cherniss and W. C. Helmbold. 

Plutarch : The Parallel Lives. B. Perrin. 11 Vols. 

PoLYBius. W. R. Paton. 6 Vols. 

Procopius : History of the Wars. H. B. Dewing. 7 Vols. 

Ptolemy : Tetrabiblos. Cf. Manetho. 

QuiNTus Smyrnaeus. a. S. Way. Verse trans. 

Sextus Empiricus. Rev. R. G. Bury. 4 Vols. 

Sophocles. F. Storr. 2 Vols. Verse trans. 

Strabo : Geography. Horace L. Jones. 8 Vols. 

Theophrastus : Characters. J. M. Edmonds ; Herodes, 
etc. A. D. Knox. 

Theophrastus : Enquiry into Plants. Sir Arthur Hort. 
2 Vols. 

Thucydides. C. F. Smith. 4 Vols. 

Tryphiodorus. Cf. Oppian. 

Xenophon : Cyropaedia. Walter Miller. 2 Vols. 

Xenophon : Hellenica, Anabasis, Apology, and Sympo- 
sium. C. L. Brownson and O. J. Todd. 3 Vols. 

Xenophon : Memorabilia and Oeconomicus. E. C. Mar- 
chant. 

Xenophon : Scripta Minora. E. C. Marchant. 



VOLUMES IN PREPARATION 



GREEK AUTHORS 



Aristotle : History of Animals. A. L. Peck, 
Plotinus. a. H. Armstrong. 

LATIN AUTHORS 



Babrius and Phaedrus. B. E. Perry. 

DESCRIPTIVE PROSPECTUS ON APPLICATION 

LONDON CAMBRIDGE, MASS. 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD HARVARD UNIV. PRESS 




\ 



Silius Italicus, PA 
Tiberius Catius 6695 

.A2 
. • • Punica D8 • 

Duff, J.D. tr. Vol.1